No headway in Birla school crisis

No headway in Birla school crisis

A tripartite meeting between the management of G D Birla Centre for Education, a guardian's forum and police on an ongoing impasse in the school here in the metropolis remained inconclusive on Tuesday.

The school continued to remain shut for an indefinite period and authorities have said that the decision to reopen the school and restart academic activities will only happen after a conducive atmosphere prevails.

Members of the guardian's forum said that after Tuesday's meeting they have stuck to their demands that the junior section principal be immediately removed from her services and arrested.

A four-year-old girl student of the school was reportedly sexually assaulted by two teachers of the physical education department in the junior section last Thursday.

Both teachers have been arrested and charged under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The principal of the school, Sharmila Nath, was summoned by officers of the detective department at the Kolkata Police headquarters at Lalbazar and was interrogated for over six hours.

The girl's parents were also called for recording their statement by the detectives. Police officers told DH that the girl's medico-legal test will be conducted on Wednesday at the state-run SSKM Hospital and her statement will be recorded in front of a magistrate on Thursday.

"The school authorities tried to divert our attention from the main issue and were saying what all measures they have taken to ensure safety and security of students since the allegation of sexual assault surfaced. But, we have told them that the guardians have lost faith in the present principal. The management has to remove this principal, who has not only been insensitive about the whole incident, but also tried to dilute the issue and shield the guilty. And the police needs to arrest her. The management has sought for some time and we have been asked to come for a second meeting tomorrow at 5 pm. Though we want the school to open, we will wait till Wednesday," said a member of the forum.

The police team, which attended Tuesday's meeting, was led by the Kolkata Police deputy commissioner (south suburban division).

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