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Karnataka: Headmistress strip searches student for phone, suspended

January 7, 2022
– Reshma Ravishanker
The Deputy Director of Public Instruction of Mandya district has ordered the suspension of a school headmistress allegedly after she forced a student to strip in the pretext of searching for a mobile phone. 
 
The allegations have been levelled against Snehalatha A, the headmistress of a government school teacher in Gananguru, Srirangapattana by a class eight student. 
 
The incident is reported to have taken place a week ago. According to the student, the headmistress, who suspected that she was carrying a mobile phone to school asked her to strip to check. The headmistress allegedly also threatened the student to have the schoolboys involved in stripping her if she did not do so voluntarily.
 
The harassment came to light when the student told her parents about the unfortunate incident. The villagers were later involved by the parents and they approached the School Development and Management Committee with the matter. 
 
The matter was later placed before the local police and the Block Education Officer of the area. The police said that such actions could attract punishment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and criminal proceedings are likely to be initiated against the accused. 
 
Prima Facie evidence by an investigation carried out by the Block Education Officer has found the headmistress guilty. The incident took place in an empty room in the presence of just the accused and student. 
 
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