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Jharkhand: NGO director held after 15 students allege sexual assault during ‘tolerance test’, says police

The matter came to light after an activist in Khunti got a phone call from one of the students alleging sexual assault by the institute director over the last several months.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Pakur |
Updated: March 14, 2021 11:07:17 am
The matter came to light after an activist in Khunti got a phone call from one of the students alleging sexual assault by the institute director over the last several months.

The director of an NGO that runs an institute in Jharkhand’s Khunti district has been arrested after more than 15 students raised allegations of sexual assault against him under the pretext of giving them a “tolerance test”, the police said on Saturday.

The matter came to light after an activist in Khunti got a phone call from one of the students (names of the institute and NGO running it withheld to protect identity of victims), alleging sexual assault by the institute director over the last several months.

After an initial probe, the police on Saturday registered an FIR under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force with an intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

Khunti’s SP Ashutosh Shekhar said, “As per the complaint, the girls were called in the private chamber/room where they were sexually harassed/sexually assaulted in the name of a ‘tolerance test’. After initial probe, the director has been arrested.”

In her complaint to the SDM, Khunti, on March 9, social activist Lakhsmi Bakhla wrote that one of the girls called her. “Among 15 students, 10 came forward and told me that the director, in the name of extra classes, used to call them in their rooms for tolerance tests… The man used to say the tests were important and that the girls should not tell anyone…” she wrote.

She told The Sunday Express that after lodging complaints she also apprised the Governor, resulting in swift action. “In the past, the matter was brought to a nurse’s knowledge by one of the students. However, the matter could not be raised then,” she said.

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