December 14th, 2016
In a stressful time for parents about their children’s safety, yet another incident has come to light from Nerul, Navi Mumbai. A class seven student was found to be four-weeks pregnant, and the accused is her teacher.
The 13-year-old girl from MGM School, Nerul complained of stomach ache and nausea in September. Her mother took her to a doctor who informed them that the girl was four weeks pregnant. The girl then told her parents that her teacher assaulted her during a PT session. She stayed back in the classroom because she was unwell. She also said that the assault continued for four months until August. He also threatened her into silence, as reported by The Times of India.
The girl’s mother then confronted the teacher Mr Harishankar Shukla who denied the allegations.
The parents lodged the complaint against the 42-year-old teacher at Nerul Police Station under the POSCO Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences), as reported by India TV.
The police didn’t act immediately. By the time they reached Shukla’s residence, he had fled. The parents alleged that 18 other parents had previously complained to the school about the teacher’s inappropriate behaviour. But the school didn’t take any action and continued to employ him, as reported by Mumbai Mirror. The outraged parents protested outside the school in Nerul.
“I know many other parents have similar experiences. But they are not speaking out as they are more concerned about the future of their children,” said the girl’s father, as reported by Hindustan Times. As the protest continued, the police detained the school principal.
The father of the minor said that the principal offered him a bribe of Rs 1 crore to keep quiet about the issue. She also told them that the accused is a powerful man and the authorities won’t take any action against him, as reported by Hindustan Times. The police chief Hemant Nagrale was also suspended on 12 December for not paying due attention to the case.
The protest outside the school was lead by MP Rajan Vichare. He expressed his concerns about the safety of children, especially girls in schools. He urged police to take all the necessary actions.
Meanwhile, the accused Harishankar Awadh Shukla alias Raj Shukla is hiding in Delhi to evade arrest. He has a family and is the father of a boy. His family too vacated the house after he fled. “The Mumbai-team has reached Delhi and is coordinating with the police officials to arrest him,” said Senior Inspector Adikrao Pol, as reported by The Times of India.
Points to Ponder
- What kind of power does the accused have that the principal didn’t report 18 cases?
- Why isn’t the government taking concrete action towards maintaining and publishing sex offenders list? That will help prospective employers to vet the candidate before hiring.
- Many such heinous incidents have come to light over the past few years. How can we make schools safer for the children?