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The two physical training instructors, who were arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a four-year-old student in G D Birla Centre for Education, were on Saturday remanded in police custody for two days by a Kolkata court. Guardians of the schools’ students had held a 16-hour protest on Friday till past midnight demanding the arrest of the two teachers and steps against the Principal, S Nath for alleged inaction.
The teachers and the principal were escorted out of the school by the police. The gaurdians on Saturday organised a rally outside the school, where a similar incident had taken place three years ago, demanding justice for the victim, enhanced security for students and a meeting with the principal.
The two physical training instructors were produced before a city court during the day, a senior officer of the Kolkata Police said. “Both the accused have been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act which is non-bailable. The court gave a two-day remand till Monday when the two will be produced before a special court,” the officer said.
Noting that the police were looking for certain answers in connection with the case, he said, “We need to find out whether this was the first child that these two accused have abused or they had done so earlier also. We also need to find out whether there were other teachers involved in the case,” a senior officer said.
The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), in its report to the education department on its findings, has highlighted “drawbacks of the infrastructure”.
A three-member team of the WBBSE was formed on Friday after the education department ordered a probe into the incident that took place on Thursday in the school toilet and came to light yesterday. It had visited the school yesterday evening, its administrator Kalyanmoy Ganguly said.
Union School Education Secretary Anil Swarup termed the incident as “unfortunate” and said the Centre has no role to play in matters relating to private schools in the states. The state government would have to look into the incident, he told newsmen.
“The incident is really unfortunate. The state governments give registration to these private schools and the Centre has no role here,” he said, adding there were a handful of government schools across the country over which the Centre has control.
Krishnendu Mukherjee, one of the protesting guardians, said, “We want immediate resignation of the principal and the teacher who had described the accused as ‘naughty boys’ before the media yesterday.”
A guardians’ forum will be set up by tomorrow and all grievances will be channelised through that platform, he said adding, “If our demands are not met, we will intensify our protests from Monday.”
The G D Birla Centre for Education had said in a statement that the school’s management was fully cooperating with the police in their investigation. “The school management will take necessary and proper action after the investigations are over,” it said, adding the WBBSE has also been apprised of the matter.
West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had said he was looking into the incident with “utmost seriousness”. “I have no words to condemn the incident. Strongest punishment should be given to those responsible for the incident,” he added.
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