Will showcause school for revealing name of victim in letter to parents: Bengal’s child rights protection commission

Not done intentionally, will be more careful next time, says spokesperson

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: December 7, 2017 5:39:50 am
School ‘relieves’ principal of duty, to reopen today Representational photo

The West Bengal Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) on Wednesday said it will showcause a Kolkata school for revealing the identity of a four-year-old “sexual assault” victim, and has called for the arrest of the principal.

“Revealing the identity of a sexual assault victim is a crime. The identity should never be revealed under any circumstances. We will send a showcause notice to the school in this regard,” WBCPCR chairperson, Ananya Chakraborty, told reporters.

The management of the school had on Tuesday apologised for revealing the victim’s identity in a common letter sent to around 4,000 parents of its students on Sunday. The matter was brought to the school authorities’ notice after some parents pointed out that it was a crime to disclose the name of a sexual assault victim.

A spokesperson for the school said: “We regret that the victim’s name was mentioned in a letter sent to parents. Next time, we will be more careful in not making such a mistake. It was not done intentionally, but we regret it.”

Meanwhile, the victim on Wednesday underwent a forensic test at SSKM Hospital, while four persons — the student’s class teacher, a woman attendant and two security guards — were questioned by Kolkata Police.

The Association of Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), a civil rights group, has demanded the filing of a case as well as punishment for the school principal.

“APDR is shocked to know that the principal has revealed the identity of the sexually abused child to each and every student and their guardians of the school through a common letter. This is a punishable act as per IPC 228 A and POCSO Act. As per IPC, this violation will attract two years’ jail with a fine. As per IPC, even parents of a minor child do not have the right to reveal the name and identity of a sexually harassed child. We demand filing of an appropriate case and punishment for the principal and other persons responsible for this violation of law,” said APDR vice-president Ranjit Sur in a statement.

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