November 14, 2021 4:20:37 am
A teacher of a Coimbatore-based private school has been arrested following death by suicide of a 17-year-old girl from the school who was allegedly sexually assaulted on multiple occasions by the accused, the police said on Saturday.
The accused teacher, arrested on Friday, has been remanded in 15-day custody, police said on Saturday. The victim, they said, died by suicide at her home on Thursday evening.
Besides the arrested accused, police are searching for three more persons who were allegedly in the know of the crime: the school principal, who allegedly tried to cover up the incident, and the father and grandfather of two classmates, whose names figure in a purported suicide note the police have recovered from the victim’s home, an officer said.
“She was declared dead (on arrival) at Coimbatore Medical College on Thursday evening,” a police officer said. “Parents lodged a police complaint on Friday, stating that a teacher in the school had been sexually assaulting her. They cited multiple instances. We transferred the case to the all-women’s police station for a detailed probe.”
The accused teacher has been booked under IPC Section 306 (abetment of suicide) and Section 9 (l) (whoever commits sexual assault on a child more than once or repeatedly) read with 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault) of POCSO Act.
An officer said, “The victim had complained to the principal but she (principal) did not take action against the teacher. In fact, the principal (allegedly) discouraged the victim from pursuing the complaint and allegedly asked her to take it as an incident of random harassment women usually face on city buses.”
The principal is absconding, police said.
According to the officer quoted above, in September, the victim had asked her parents to transfer her to another school. “Initial probe shows the incident was known to (other) students as well. After the victim’s efforts to file a complaint were defeated by the (school) management, a classmate had informed the accused teacher’s wife about the crime,” the officer said.
The officer said preliminary investigation shows the principal allegedly played an active role in efforts to cover up the incident and is likely to be named as the second accused. Sources said police have already booked her under POCSO.
“The principal was working with the school for last two decades. She is in hiding,” the officer said. “We have formed two special teams to arrest her. We are also probing the role of two more persons — the father and grandfather of two of the victim’s classmates, mentioned in the suicide note.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.