Dehradun: School Allegedly Denies Admission To A 16-Yr-Old Because She Is Rape Survivor
According to the law, the identity of the rape survivor or a sexual assault victim has to be protected as to safeguard her from any reputational damages considering the patriarchal society we live in. However, time and again the rape victims have to go through the humiliation. One such incident has happened in a private school in Dehradun, who have allegedly denied giving admission to a 16-year-old rape survivor. The victim’s lawyer has demanded cancellation of the school’s CBSE affiliation.
According to the Hindustan Times, the girl was allegedly raped by four boys in her previous boarding school on August 14, this year. Later in September, the family got to know about the incident after the girl informed her sister fearing that she was pregnant. Four people were booked in the case.
Failed to get admission
Since then the family of the victim had been trying to get the girl admission into private schools in the city, but all their attempts were failed.
“Her parents tried to get her admission into many private schools of the city, but they all refused. While the other schools did not give the parents any explanation, one private school categorically told them that they cannot give admission to her as she is a rape victim,” said victim’s lawyer Aruna Negi Chauhan. As reported by The Times of India, the parents have lodged a complaint with the local police.
Following which Chauhan wrote a letter on behalf of the victim’s to Deradhun Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and also to the state education minister Arvind Pandey, urging them to take strict action against the school.
Her identity has to be protected
Chauhan has also written to the senior superintendent of Uttarakhand police to check how the victim’s identity has been disclosed.
“The biggest question is that how did the school get to know the child was a rape victim? By law, her identity has to be protected. We want the police to investigate who is behind this,” she said.
The lawyer claims that she has also demanded the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel the school’s affiliation. However, regional officer of CBSE Ranveer Singh claims that he has not received any such letter. He further said, “It is the school’s prerogative to give admission or not. There are many factors which influence a school’s decision. It is not right on the parts of parents and the lawyer to make such allegations.”
The incident took place on August 14, in the school premises, but came to light only after a month. As reported by Hindustan Times, the girl was tricked by the accused into believing that a school teacher had called her, due to which she went along with two boys from her class. Two other senior students joined her classmates and gang-raped the minor in the premises of the school in an under- construction room. The boys threatened her of dire consequences and warned her not to reveal the incident to anyone.
School tried to suppress the incident
Reportedly, the victim had returned to the hostel and informed the hostel caretaker, a woman herself, about the horrendous incident. However, the hostel caretaker refused to take any action and asked the girl to keep quiet.
However, the school administrative officers were informed about the girl’s situation. Rather than informing the police about the incident, the school authorities tried to hush up the situation. They threatened the girl that she would be expelled from the school if she discloses about the rape to her parents or to her sister who was studying in the same school.
According to the lawyer, one of the school officials, who was later arrested conducted a pregnancy test on the girl inside the school premises and confirmed the pregnancy to her. “It was after that they brought her to a clinic to carry out abortion,” said the lawyer in the court. Reportedly, the school administrative officer’s wife gave the victim “home remedies” to terminate the pregnancy worsening the child’s health.
The incident came to light when the victim informed her elder sister that she was pregnant. Following which the victim’s parents who reside in Delhi were informed about the incident by her sister. An FIR was lodged by the girl’s father which included charges under IPC sections 376D (gang rape), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as reported by The Indian Express.
Four boys were taken into custody. Initially, there was a misunderstanding that all the four accused were minors, but later the investigation officers became aware of the fact that one of the accused school boys was an adult, after inspecting his documents.
The special court of the additional district judge, Gurubaksh Singh, remanded the adult to district jail, Dehradun, and the juvenile justice board sent the minors to a correctional home in Haridwar.
The Logical Indian take
It is pathetic and unimaginable to think that a school would value its own reputation over the trauma of a rape survivor. This incident reveals the lack of understanding towards a heinous crime against a minor. First, her previous school tried to keep her quiet and then the other school did not give her admission just because she has faced a crime. The attitude of negligence and absolute lack of consideration displayed by the school opposes the concept of how a school is considered to be a “temple of learning”.