Lucknow: A protest in Lucknow is gaining heat as parents of children studying at the City Montessori School’s Aliganj branch gathered at the school demanding assurance from school authorities about their wards’ safety. A large police force has been deployed outside the school to keep the situation in control. Parents are protesting in the aftermath of an incident of molestation that took place last Friday, involving two students, a girl and a boy, from the school.
The parents of the girl studying in class III complained about the molestation of their daughter on dial 100 helpline last Saturday. No official police complaint has been lodged yet and the parents met in the school premises to discuss the issue.
Jyoti Kashyap, the principal of the school, confirmed that the incident took place last Friday. “The boys were into the game of ‘truth and dare’ where the boy was given the task to unzip the tunic of any girl. The boy with an intention to complete the task did it to the standard III girl,” said Kashyap.
The parents of the accused were called to the school after the victim complained to her parents on Saturday, she added. The accused, who studies in class VIII and has been rusticated by the school, is said to be the son of a prominent advocate.
“In the heat of the moment, the victim’s parent slapped the accused twice and complained at dial 100 helpline. Slapping the boy irked the boy’s father and he also threatened to lodge a police complaint,” Kashyap said adding that the boy's parents have written an apology letter to Aliganj police station. The victim's parents have also stated in the letter that they do not want any legal action to be taken.
“After the factless report was run on TV news, the issue has gone viral on social media. It is unfortunate that without being aware of the facts in the matter, a few NGOs are staging a protest,” said the principal.
Ajay Kumar, the station house officer at Aliganj, confirmed that no legal complaint has been received by the police in connection to this incident. “We will take next step after discussing with the superintendent of police and the senior superintendent of police as the case is related to a minor,” said Kumar when asked if the police will take suo motu cognisance since the matter is concerning a minor.
Meanwhile, the protest is gaining momentum and a large number of activists, students and parents are protesting at the CMS Aliganj gate number three.
Anil Tiwari, a parent who was protesting outside the school said the principal should have taken appropriate action and rustication of the boy is no excuse. “Is unzipping the tunic of the girl, not a crime? Imagine the trauma the girl underwent and were the actions taken by school appropriate. What actions would have the principal taken if it was her daughter,” Tiwari asked. He added that the school should guarantee them the security of their kids as whatever happened in the school is very unfortunate.
Right to Education activist Samina Bano said molestation of a minor girl in CMS Aliganj is a serious incident where the school must act like a law abiding institution and let the matter take its legal course.
“Their usual pattern of putting pressure on parents and administration on account of their influence and clout is very typical and disappointing for an institution of their calibre. Having witnessed their blatant flouting of laws in rejecting RTE 12.1.C admissions and running schools in illegal buildings, I won’t be surprised if they tried to cover up the matter and silenced the media,” she said.
Bano further said that children’s safety must be above any commercial interest and she would strongly urge the school to not only offer a satisfactory explanation but also make necessary arrangements to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.
The author is a Lucknow-based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com.
Updated Date: Aug 13, 2018 15:52:08 IST