TN school teacher arrested for sexual harassment of girl

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students, sent to jail Chennai, May 25 (PTI) A teacher of a well-known CBSE school here was arrested on Tuesay following a complaint, after allegations of sexual harassment of girl students surfaced against him in the social media, police said.

After the allegations became public, police officers of the crime against women and children wing conducted enquiries and a complaint was received against the 59-year old teacher, city police said.

Investigation revealed that the commerce-accountancy teacher had sexually harassed girls by sending lewd messages, a police release said.

Also, a girl student of the same school was sexually harassed a few years ago by the same teacher and the parents had already complained to school authorities against the teacher for sending obscene messages and videos to students through WhatsApp, the release added.

'The teacher was taken into custody for questioning and he was arrested. He was produced before a magistrate today and remanded to judicial custody. He is lodged in Puzhal Central Prison. A case has been registered against him under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and also the Information Technology Act,' a police officer said.

School authorities have also been questioned in the matter, he added.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said it has taken a serious view of the matter and asked the state police chief to take strict action against the teacher and send a report on the action taken.

'All the children should be provided with counselling and psycho-social support as children will be under psychological trauma. An action taken report along with the authenticated copies of the relevant documents may kindly be shared with the commission within three days of receipt of the letter,' Dr R G Anand, member of the panel said in a communique to Director General of Police, J K Tripathi.

A district child protection unit officer said a notice has been sent by the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights to the school seeking explanation.

After allegations of sexual harassment surfaced in social media against the teacher, he was suspended by the school.

The allegations from social media posts indicated that the accountancy teacher had been targeting girls in classes 11 and 12 for quite some time in physical classes ahead of the start of the first wave of the coronavirus last year and during virtual classes following the outbreak of pandemic.

Use of words that amounted to verbal sexual harassment of girls in physical classes, touching them inappropriately and later claiming that it was 'by accident' formed part of the accusations that were shared in social media.

Sending lewd messages through phone, inviting students to 'cinema' or to make late night video calls and appearing with just a towel around the waist in online classes were also alleged.PTI VGN SS PTI PTI

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