180 schools booked for flouting safety norms

180 schools booked for flouting safety norms

The City police have registered cases against 180 schools for failing to implement the guidelines issued by the State government to ensure the safety of children.

With the Karnataka High Court refusing to stay the implementation of the guidelines, Home Minister K J George has made it clear that there will be no compromise on children’s safety. “The government will not compromise on ensuring the safety of children. There is no question of relaxing the guidelines and all schools must comply with them. The Karnataka High Court has directed the government to take penal action against schools that refuse to implement the guidelines,” he said.

George added that of the 180 schools, 161 are private and 21 are government-aided. He said a high-powered committee, constituted recently to strengthen the safety guidelines, would fix a deadline for schools to implement them.

The Bengaluru City Police have registered the cases against the managements of the erring schools under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to disobedience of an order duly promulgated by a public servant.

Bengaluru City Police Commissioner M N Reddy said not many schools had completely implemented the guidelines. Around 600 schools have initiated steps for implementation and they are at various stages. The city has 3,051 schools, including 2,074 private ones. Reddy, however, did not reveal how many schools have implemented the guidelines totally.

George, who had come under severe criticism from opposition parties in the wake of increase in cases of sexual assault in schools, said the station house officers (SHO) of all police stations have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that schools in their jurisdiction implement the safety guidelines. The SHO will coordinate with officials of the Education Department for this purpose and conduct regular inspections, he added.

Besides, he said the Home Department would set up a data bank on people who indulge in crime against women and that an awareness campaign would be launched in this regard. The Home Department has also suggested stringent measures to the committee, including to make all schools open a control room and depute security personnel to monitor all activities using CCTV.  The home minister asserted that merely installing CCTV cameras would not serve the purpose and all activities have to be watched so that any attempts of sexual assault can be prevented.

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