A teacher of a prominent private English-medium school in Kolkata was arrested on Friday for reportedly sexually abusing a class 2 student.
The incident triggered angry protests by the girl's parents and other guardians, who gathered outside Carmel Primary School, seeking immediate suspension of the accused.
A senior police officer said the parents of the student alleged that their daughter was abused by the dance teacher of the school. On Thursday, the girl complained about the teacher to her parents.
Expressing his outrage over the matter, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said if the charge against the accused teacher is found to be true, he should not be allowed to teach again. "I am of the view that male teachers should not be appointed in all-girls school," he said.
The government had asked all schools to implement foolproof security measures on their campuses, but Friday's incident showed there were gaps in the system, he added.
One of the agitating parents told reporters outside the school gate that authorities initially tried to downplay the matter when they were informed about it. "It was then that we decided to stage a protest outside the school," he said.
The principal of the missionary school, Sister Maria Arpitha AC, has sought time till Saturday to speak on the matter.
A police team that reached the spot to control the agitators was also heckled by the parents, the senior officer said.
"We have arrested the teacher and initiated an investigation into the matter," he said, adding the agitators assaulted the accused when he was being taken away.
West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti said two members of the statutory body have reached the school to take stock of the situation.
One of the two visiting members of the commission, Sudeshna Roy, said, "We were told by the school that the CCTVs in the school are not in working condition and some construction work is going on in one part of the campus. We will file our report and necessary action will be taken."
The incident brought back memories of a similar case in December last year, when a four-year-old girl student of G D Birla Centre for Education was sexually assaulted by two teachers inside the school. Both the teachers were arrested.