Kohima: A Hindi teacher from the Chipur village in Nagaland’s Noklak district was arrested on the charges of sexually assaulting four minors, all below the age of 15. The government school teacher has also been placed under suspension by the Directorate of School Education (DoSE).
President of Chipur Village Students’ Union, P Khuming, told EastMojo that a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged by the students’ body at the Thonoknyu police station (PS) on August 1 after they received information of an alleged sexual assault on school children.
“A cousin of one of the victims got to know that the teacher had chased the child to the field, and they informed us. As a leader, it is my duty to listen to the grievance, and this is a big issue. So along with the other executives, we started our investigation and found out that he was a habitual offender,” the student leader said.
During the process, he said it was learnt that the children were allegedly “molested” several times, but only the recent incidents were reported, as children remained silent, ashamed to raise their voices against a teacher.
The most recent cases of alleged sexual assault by the teacher on minors were reported in the last week of July.
Khuming said that the accused, who hails from Agartala in Tripura, has been teaching at a government school in the village, on a contract basis, for over a decade.
Acting swiftly, the student body lodged the FIR at Thonoknyu PS, around 20 km from the village. “We started to collect pieces of evidence against the teacher who was away from the village at the time. He somehow received information and took medical leave from the school. But it was a wrong deed, so even in his absence, we filed the complaint,” Khuming disclosed.
Although there was a fear of stigma at first, the student leader assured that the parents were made aware of the situation, and they understood the student body’s initiative as they later supported the move of the Union.
Khuming said that a “free and fair investigation” should be conducted, and justice must be delivered at the earliest. “The teacher is destroying the future of the children and the society, so justice must be delivered,” he said.
The leader then added that the teacher should be punished as per law and terminated from his service.
As per a government-registered identification card obtained by EastMojo, the accused is 52 years old.
Additional SP of Noklak and PRO informed that the accused was apprehended in Tuensang with the help of the Tuensang police on August 3. As the accused was not in the place at the time, the complaint was registered, the Noklak police alerted the police in other districts and monitored the situation before he was arrested.
The accused is under judicial custody and was produced to the court in Tuensang on Saturday. The accused was booked under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. As the case is under investigation, the police refrained from commenting further.
District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) of Tuensang, Yangthriba informed that the victims are temporarily sheltered at a home in Tuensang.
“Although we have not directly witnessed, we were informed that the accused is a habitual offender,” he said. No injury to the victims has been reported till the writing of this report.
As a new district, offices of the judiciary, DCPO, childline, Sakhi-One Stop Centre, and Child welfare committee (CWC) are yet to be established in Noklak district and all related cases are overseen at Tuensang, he informed.
Noklak was part of Tuensang district before it was officially inaugurated as a district on January 20, 2021, by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
When contacted, Principal Director of school education (DoSE) Thavaseelan K told EastMojo on Saturday that the accused had been suspended from work.
Asked if the teacher would be terminated, he said that the matter is being looked into.
The officer also said there is already a Child Safety Policy in place, and the School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) Framework is coming up.
The SRGBV, he said, will be a part of the Grievance Redressal Mechanism being developed for all schools.
- Explained: Why Monkeypox isn’t an STI & what counts as close contact
- Airlines to share intl passengers’ info with customs prior to departure
- Here’s why sunscreen is an anti-ageing skincare essential
- Manoj Prabhakar appointed Nepal cricket coach
- A new supercomputer has delivered a stunning supernova remnant pic
- Amazon India announces diversity grant for entrepreneurs in logistics biz