Blind kids raped last Chil­dren’s Day, no FIR lodged so far

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - NATION - Mal­lica Joshi ■ mal­lica.joshi@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: In a brazen vi­o­la­tion of the child pro­tec­tion act, the In­sti­tu­tion for the Blind in Amar Colony, Delhi, has seem­ingly hushed up the al­leged sex­ual as­sault of two of its Class 3 stu­dents by a teacher last year. This is de­spite a signed con­fes­sion by the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor and re­ports of two school com­mit­tees that in­dict him. The po­lice too are yet to file an FIR in con­nec­tion with the case de­spite be­ing called to the in­sti­tu­tion’s premises in con­nec­tion with the as­sault soon after the in­ci­dent, and de­spite a com­plaint filed by school au­thor­i­ties nine months later. The teacher al­legedly sodomised two vis­ually im­paired boys at the school’s premises last year on Novem­ber 14 — cel­e­brated as Chil­dren’s Day in In­dia. The boys are res­i­dents of the gov­ern­ment­funded in­sti­tu­tion’s hos­tel.

Two days after the in­ci­dent, the vic­tims, along with their school mates, wrote to the vice prin­ci­pal, who heads the in­sti­tu­tion, in­form­ing him about the as­sault. A num­ber of other chil­dren also al­leged that the teacher, who is also vis­ually im­paired, would molest them reg­u­larly. Though the vice prin­ci­pal called the po­lice at the time, in­stead of fil­ing a com­plaint, he served the teacher with a show cause no­tice. The po­lice too did not in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter fur­ther.

This is in clear vi­o­la­tion of the Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren from Sex­ual Of­fences (POCSO) Act. “As per the POCSO Act, any cases of sex­ual as­sault have to be re­ported to the po­lice and an FIR filed as soon as the com­plaint is re­ceived,” said Arun Mathur, chair­per­son, Delhi Com­mis­sion for the Pro­tec­tion of Child Rights. In his re­ply to the show cause no­tice, the ac­cused ac­cepted the al­le­ga­tions and said he would not ‘make the same mis­take again’. De­spite the con­fes­sion, the in­sti­tu­tion did not file a po­lice com­plaint. That was not all. In July, the in­sti­tu­tion also moved to ex­pel one of the vic­tims from the hos­tel when the vice prin­ci­pal wrote to the war­den, ask­ing him to ex­pel the child a she was a bad stu­dent and of ‘bad character’. School au­thor­i­ties only took the mat­ter for­ward when the fa­ther of one of the boys re­peat­edly wrote to them, urg­ing them to act against the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor. The fa­ther wrote a se­ries of let­ters to the school in July.

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