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50+ Jind school students accuse principal of sexual harassment: Haryana women’s panel

November 4, 2023

The Haryana State Commission for Women revealed that over 50 female students from a government school in Jind district accused their principal of sexual harassment. The commission criticized the police for their delayed response to the students’ complaints, highlighting a significant lag between forwarding the complaints on September 14 and the subsequent action taken on October 30.

The police have booked the school principal after being suspended by the Jind administration over these allegations. The accused, reportedly around 55 years old, is currently evading arrest, prompting the formation of police teams to apprehend him.

Renu Bhatia, Chairperson of the State Commission for Women, informed that they received 60 written complaints against the principal from the girls, among which 50 complaints depicted instances of physical abuse by the accused. Ten other complaints detailed the knowledge of the principal’s inappropriate behavior.

Allegedly, the accused used to call the girls to his office and engage in offensive behavior. The commission emphasized a lackadaisical approach by the Jind police regarding the matter, citing a substantial delay in taking action after the initial complaint.

Investigations are being conducted into the alleged lapses by a woman District Education Officer and a female teacher who reportedly supported the principal. Additionally, girls complained about receiving pressure from unknown persons to retract their statements.

The commission urged swift arrest of the accused, highlighting the urgency of bringing individuals like him to justice. The principal’s inappropriate conduct was reportedly observed in other schools where he was previously posted, as per Bhatia. The accused faces charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act.

The school principal’s suspension and the students’ appeals to higher authorities, such as the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Commission for Women, further underscore the severity of the allegations. Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Imran Raza highlighted that the allegations involved the principal engaging in inappropriate behavior with the students.

Also read: Protecting tweens from sexual abuse

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