Uttarakhand: Minor Girl Gangraped By Fellow Students; School Tries To Cover It Up
A sixteen-year-old minor girl student of a boarding school in Dehradun was gang-raped by three minor boys and an adult who were the students of the same school as the victim. The incident had a shocking unveiling of events, as the initial police investigations revealed that the school administration tried their best to hide the incident. Five members of the school authorities including the director, principal, an administrative officer along with his wife and a hostel caretaker were taken into custody for trying to maintain secrecy about the incident and for allegedly destroying the evidence, as reported by NDTV.
The incident took place on August 14, in the school premises, but came to light only after a month. As reported by The 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 mum. “The girl says she reported the case to the ayah (caretaker) the same day. But they (school management) tried to dissuade her to report,” Additional General of Police Ashok told NDTV.
When the school administrative officers were informed about the girl’s situation, they found methods to terminate the pregnancy, but none of them reported the incident to the police, in fact, the authorities 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. Reportedly, the school administrative officer’s wife gave the victim “home remedies” to terminate the pregnancy worsening the child’s health.
When 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 disappearance of evidence), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as reported by The Indian Express.
On Sunday evening, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dehradun, Nivedita Kukreti, ordered an investigation into the matter after she gained knowledge about the rape.
The special court of the additional district judge, Gurubaksh Singh, remanded the adults to district jail, Dehradun, and the juvenile justice board sent the minors to a correctional home in Haridwar.
It was reported that 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.
Facilities in the school
The officials of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (USCPCR) visited the premises of the school on Monday and to their shock, they had found that the girls’ hostel did not have a lady warden for the past one month and just had a caretaker. They also blamed school administration for being negligent by not installing CCTV cameras on the premises.
Also, the school’s CBSE affiliation was ordered to be cancelled on Tuesday after the Chief Education Officer of Dehradun visited the premises. However, the school authorities in their reply requested the investigation to be completed before cancelling the affiliation.
The Logical Indian’s take
It is pathetic and unimaginable to think that a school would value its own reputation over the trauma of its own student.
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”.
Rapes against these innocent souls continue to occur putting the unspeakable agony and traumatizing the victim for life.
As per the statistics, there has been an 82 per cent increase in the number of rapes against minors/children. Records show that in 2015, 10,854 cases of rape under Section 376 of the IPC and under Section 4 and 6 of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act were registered pan-India, in 2016 19,765 cases have been registered, as reported by The Quint. It is highly required that the concerned authorities take appropriate action at the earliest.