In a horrific incident, a dance teacher of a prominent girl’s school in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata was arrested by police on Friday for allegedly harassing a Class 2 student for the last six months. The teacher identified as Soumen Das was charged under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act after the girl’s mother lodged a complaint with the police. The incident came to light when the girl refused to go to school on Thursday morning. When her parents asked the reason, the child revealed that she was being harassed by the teacher after the mother prodded.
The angry parents were demanding action against the accused teacher and reportedly gathered outside the school in Deshapriya Park in south Kolkata on Friday morning to express their horror and disappointment. The parents have also claimed that there are no closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside the school. They have reportedly questioned the presence of male teachers in a school meant only for girls. The authorities have deployed tight security outside the school to tackle the situation.
Two police officers, including the officer-in-charge of Tollygunge police station, were injured in a scuffle with the agitating parents. Reacting to the incident, West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee said the government will look into the matter if there were lapses on the part of the school.
“There are safety guidelines laid down by the state government. The school authorities should also keep a vigil that such incidents do not take place,” Chatterjee said, while adding, “It’s despicable. Are there CCTV cameras to keep an eye on what’s happening? It’s all the more necessary where girls study.”
The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights have also condemned the act by saying that it is an unfortunate incident. However, the school administration hasn’t spoken on the matter yet.
Last year, two teachers of another private school in south Kolkata were arrested for sexually assaulting a four-year-old in December.