The management of a Kolkata school, where a four-year-old girl student was allegedly sexually assaulted by two teachers, has decided to hold talks with the agitating parents on Tuesday. Protesting parents were, however, divided on whether to attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Roopa Ganguly, who went to the school to express her solidarity with the agitating parents, was asked to leave by the protesters as they did not want to politicise the incident. Ganguly, however, did not leave and forcibly tried to enter the school. “Today I have come here as a parent and not as a political leader. I had spent my childhood in this locality and I felt compelled to come here and raise a protest. I also want the principal to be arrested and the school should be reopened,” she said.
Continuing with their agitation, the parents demonstrated in the front of the school on Monday and demanded that it must be reopened and its principal be arrested. The four-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted last week by two physical education teachers in the school washroom. The teachers were arrested after the father of the victim lodged a complaint at Jadavpur police station. Following the alleged assault, the management had shut the school till further notice.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday condemned the incident and described it as unfortunate. “My education minister has already spoken on this. We all condemn this. But I don’t think for a particular teacher everybody should be blamed. All teachers are not bad. But there are some bad people and we have to take action against them.”
Spokesperson of the school said, “Tomorrow we will hold a meeting where management of the school, police and parents will participate. The meeting will be held on the school premises at noon. We have also sent letters to the parents of 4,000 students in which we have conveyed our apologies and informed them about the measures which we will take to ensure security of our students. We condemn whatever has happened and those who are guilty should be punished.”
He, however, said that no decision has been taken to remove the principal. “These issues will be discussed in tomorrow’s meeting,” he added.
A section of the parents decided to attend the meeting, while the father of the victim said he will not take part unless the principal is arrested. “I will appeal to the parents to boycott tomorrow’s meeting as the management will try to enter into a negotiation with us. Therefore, we should boycott tomorrow’s meeting,” he said.
Another section of parents, however, decided to attend the meeting to decide their next course of action. “We will attend the meeting. But, we do not know who will represent the school management. If persons concerned do not attend the meeting, then we may boycott it. We will take a final call tomorrow morning,” a member of the Guardian’s Forum told The Indian Express.
Chairperson of West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights Ananya Chakraborty met the parents on Monday and supported their demands. She said that the school will face legal action over the abrupt shutdown.