The principal of a Central government school instituted under the Ministry of Human Resource Development is in the dock for a bizarre advisory to his students. Instead of asking them to study well and come out successful, Kumar Thakur (in pics) taunted a student to become like Sunny Leone instead of qualifying herself. The 17-year-old victim who is studying in class 12 reported the matter to the police. Following her complaint, the Sadashivanagar police arrested the principal. The latter has, however, manged to get bail despite being booked under various sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012 and Section 354(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
The student who was in the principal’s chamber had to allegedly undergo sexual harassment for nearly 50 minutes. The incident happened on December 26, 2016 between 7.20 and 8.10 pm. However, the complaint was registered a month later on January 30.
The student was allegedly asked to go inside the principal’s cabin by her physics teacher. After a general talk, the principal is alleged to have enquired about her mother’s health. He then allegedly spoke to her about her subjects, but later started asking about her concentration levels as she was reportedly weak in studies and had scored less. He then told her that students who have low concentration levels are more curious about sex. He paused a while after a female staff entered his cabin to seek some permission. After the teacher left, he explained about adolescence and children’s curiosity about sex. He then explained to the victim about male and female reproduction and their functions in detail.
“The victim has stated that the principal reportedly asked her if she had any boy friend, and when she denied having any, he told her to keep one. He even told her that she had lost many oppurtunities of having a boyfriend. He is then alleged to have told her that being successful in life was more important than being qualified, to which he gave multiple examples of actress Sunny Leone. The victim has further claimed that he even asked her to use sex toys as it was relaxing. He then started claiming that he had a list of many women losing their innocence in front of him,” said an officer part of the investigations.
The principal then allegedly offered moral, financial and social support if the victim so needed. He further asked her to meet him frequently and to be ‘in touch’. He then gave her a chocolate and asked her to leave. The student came out of his cabin at around 8.10 pm. Her brother is said to have been waiting for her at the school’s main door as she was delayed. By then, there were nobody in the school and the lights were out. The very next day, the victim discussed the matter with her friends.
The letter stated that a person, who claimed to be an employee of the school, called the Child Helpline 1098 on January 14 and complained that Kumar Thakur had been misbehaving with several girl students from Std X and XII over the last three years.
The complainant alleged that the principal regularly summoned girl students to his chamber on the pretext of counselling them and displayed his deviant behaviour. The caller said that many teachers and students in the school had all the information about such incidents.
In December 2016, too, Kumar Thakur allegedly sexually abused a girl student, who had lost her mother recently. The caller alleged that the principal showed obscene photographs to the students and young women faculty of the school, besides sending Whatsapp messages to students.
The Sadashivanagar police have registered a case against the principal under POCSO Act of 2012 under section 11(1)(3)(4)(6) and 354(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
Shock at bail grant to principal
Legal experts and child rights activists have expressed shock over the overnight release of tainted KV principal Kumar Thakur, who was booked under the stringent POCSO Act for alleged sexual harassment of a student at his institution.
Thakur was arrested on January 31. He was placed under suspension on Friday, but that too only after the State Child Rights Protection Committee strongly intervened and wrote to the Commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, New Delhi, demanding his suspension and immediate relocation from his official quarters within the school campus, said Krupa Amar Alva, Chairperson of Karnataka State Rights Protection Committee.
“According to the legal officers, the complaint mentioned only verbal sexual harassment and not assault and that could be one of the reasons why he was granted bail,” said Alva.
When contacted, police officials told BM that though stringent sections were invoked against the accused, bail was granted without seeking police opinion.
Vidya Reddy, Executive Director of Tulir, a voluntary organisation working for the prevention of child sexual abuse, pointed out that it was shocking that the faculty members and the harassed girl had to reach out for support through helpline showing the absence of a proper child protection policy in institutes like KV. She also added that the gravity of the situation was that such institutions where many children congregate would also attract professional perpetrators, people who use their profession to satisfy their predatory instincts.
– Kavita Patil
Parents livid at his intent
With a spate of unsavoury incidents in school campuses, parents are a worried lot. They have been advising their kids to obey teachers but not blindly follow whatever they say. The recent incident involving a Kendriya Vidyalaya principal has sent shockwaves among the parent community. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, some parents of Bengaluru’s schoolchildren have come up with diverse opinions to create a check on sexual harassment on children. Hema Mahesh, a homemaker said, “We send children to school with the impression that they learn good things and good manners. Nowadays, teachers have a friendlier approach unlike our times when a teacher-student relationship was very formal. I don’t know if this kind of friendliness between a teacher and student is taking a wrong turn.” The parents say that they keep a tab on their kids friendliness with their school staff and repeatedly ask to make sure that the kids are not being taken for a ride. Another homemaker, Sunitha V, feels that people with such base mindsets should be penalised. “We were taught that “Guru Devo bhava” (Teachers are equivalent to God), and used to obey teachers blindly. Now, I teach my children to not trust their teachers completely. Tell us if they demand anything from you, and we will make a move according to the situation,” she said.
“Teachers shouldn’t cross the line in a teacher-student relationship. The Gurukuls were best, in hindsight,” said Sheela Prasad, a healthcare employee.
– Dona Dey
ABOUT THE SECTIONS
POCSO Act 11
A person is said to commit sexual harassment upon a child when such person with sexual intent,-1 utters any word or makes any sound, or makes any gesture or exhibits any object or part of body with the intention that such word or sound shall be heard, or such gesture or object or part of body shall be seen by the child
3 shows any object to a child in any form of media for pornographic purposes
4 repeatedly or constantly follows or watches or contacts a child either directly or through electronic, digital or any other means
6 entices a child for pornographic purposes or gives gratification therefor.
Incidents in the past
Jul 29, 2014
A six-year-old was allegedly gang raped by two gymnastics instructors at a public school. They were booked under Sections 4 and 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) which relate to punishment for penetrative sexual assault and “aggravated” penetrative sexual assault.
Oct 22, 2014
A 3-year-old girl studying in nursery class was allegedly sexually abused inside a private school. The accused was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 and IPC section 376 (rape).
Oct 31, 2014
A six-year-old girl was allegedly raped twice by a Hindi teacher on the campus of a private school in east Bangalore. The accused was booked under Section 376 of IPC and Sections 5 and 16 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.
Jan 08, 2015
A minor girl was raped by her physical education teacher inside a local school. The accused was booked under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Jan 12, 2015
The Central division police had registered a complaint under various sections of the POCSO Act along with section 354 (a) of the IPC against three members of the school management for allegedly manhandling and sexually assaulting students who were staging a protest on the school’s premises. The protest was against the installation of a new principal.
Oct 28, 2016
Two foreign nationals were arrested for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl at a private college in KR Puram. The accused were booked under various sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act along with rape (IPC 376) and criminal intimidation (IPC 506).
Dec 12, 2016
The city police arrested a mathematics teacher for allegedly raping his student after she got him sacked from school for making sexual advances. He was booked for rape (IPC 376) and also under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Dec 29, 2016
A 56-year-old private school principal was arrested for allegedly sexually harassing minor girl students. He was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act following complaints from parents of nearly half a dozen girls.