'Educational institutions must take blame for crimes against students'

The committee formed to study and suggest amendments to laws relating to crimes on women and children will recommend to the State government to hold managements of educational institutions accountable for atrocities against students in their institutions.

The committee, which will submit its interim report shortly, will also recommend periodic visits by both police and education department officials to all schools and colleges, aside from mandatory verification of the antecedents of security guards at these institutions.

The jurisdictional police should visit the schools and colleges at least once a day and the Block Education Officers (BEOs) make monthly visits. The DDPIs (Deputy Directors of Public Instruction) will be required to visit every three months.

Addressing reporters here on Thursday, the committee’s chairperson, V S Ugrappa, said that the members had so far studied two cases — the Pragathi PU college incident and the alleged rape of a three-year-old student at a school in Indiranagar here.

At Pragathi PU College, a guard had fatally shot a teenage girl student.
The incidents had brought to fore the lacunae in both the institutions, which were found violating or disregarding the stipulated guidelines. Ugrappa also said that there were many shortcomings on the part of the authorities concerned, especially education and police officials.

While Pragathi PU College hadn’t even sought the licence to start the institution, the Indiranagar school had hired a watchman but refused to acknowledge him as its employee.

All agencies and departments concerned, including education, police, social welfare, revenue, the BBMP, Bescom and the BWSSB, failed to visit the institutions to verify before giving approvals. There was no co-ordination among various departments either, Ugrappa said.

“Pragathi PU college’s annual revenue is over Rs five crore, but it is functioning illegally. It does not even have a plan sanction. But the authorities have turned a blind eye to all these aspects,” he added.

The committee, which was formed on September 10, 2014, has so far not been able to compile data pertaining to crimes against women and children, and the status of the cases. Ugrappa said that the committee might seek more time to submit its final report, owing to specifications in the terms of reference. The final report will lay thrust on preventive measures and moral education, he added.

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