A 12-year-old tribal girl was sexually assaulted by the principal of a school in Khergam taluka of Navsari district, police said on Friday. Gokul Patel, 50, the principal of Ashram School at Gauri village in Khergam taluka, was arrested after the police registered a case of rape against him. The girl was taken to Chikhli Civil hospital on Friday where after primary test doctors confirmed that she had been raped.
The girl, resident of a village in Dharampur taluka, complained of the principal’s “different behaviour” towards her for the last few days. Sources said that there were around 129 students in the school out of which 49 were girls. Police said that on Tuesday night, Patel asked his servant to call the victim to his official residence in the school premises.
In the police complaint, the victim alleged that after she entered his room, he misbehaved with her, molested her and threatened not to disclose it to anybody. The next day, the victim, along with three friends, escaped from the school and went to their homes in a village in Dharampur taluka.
The victim, along with her parents, went to Khergam police station and lodged a complaint on Thursday night. Acting on the complaint, Navsari police reached the school and arrested the principal. Police also carried out medical examination of the victim and the accused in a government hospital at Chikhli.
Navsari Circle police inspector C J Goswami said, “We have arrested the accused and have started investigations. After primary examination, the doctors confirmed rape. We have taken statements of other girl students who have confirmed that Patel had also sexually harassed them. Gokul has been serving as the school principal since 1999. He is also the sarpanch of the village due to which nobody dared to take action against him.”