Residents near a government school in Jahangirpuri, Northwest Delhi, who were protesting outside the school against the alleged molestation of five schoolgirls by their music teacher, clashed with police on Tuesday.
The violence and stone-pelting left six police personnel injured. Following the clash, the 38-year-old music teacher, identified as Vijay Kumar, was arrested. Twenty-three others were arrested on charges of rioting, police said.
According to police, the parents of the five girls had on Monday met the school principal and allegedly complained to her about the incidents of molestation. But she reportedly refused to take action, police said. On Tuesday morning, the parents again met the principal urging her to act.
A man, who identified himself as a father of the victim, told Newsline that during the meeting, the principal sought time to take action.
“She wasn’t keen on taking any action. She claimed that she wanted to hear the other side of the story. We were not satisfied with the response and assembled outside the school to ensure that the music teacher did not flee the premises,” the parent said. Police said around 11 am, they received a call from the control room about some persons resorting to stone-pelting outside the school. Extra police personnel were sent to the spot to control the protesters.
However, protesters began shouting slogans against police and clashed with police personnel. The principal and the accused music teacher were taken away by police after protesters turned violent. Police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the crowd. Late in the afternoon, police arrested Vijay Kumar from his residence.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) A Koan confirmed the arrest. “We have arrested the accused and lodged a case under relevant sections of POCSO and Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code,” he said. Koan also said it was local residents, who had joined the parents’ protest, that resorted to violence. “We have not arrested any parent or relative of the victims. The 23 persons we arrested are local residents who took to rioting, destroyed public property and stopped police from performing their duty,” he said. Police are also probing the role of the principal and the lack of action in the case.