Sexual abuse allegations hit TTD-run school

Sexual abuse allegations hit TTD-run school

Stung by the public uproar, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) administration has rusticated four senior students from the Pathashala set up in an isolated part of the Tirumala hill range.

The TTD also offered protection to one of the victim students who is from Hyderabad.The ten-year-old boy was one of the seven other juniors allegedly subjected  to such abuse by senior students.

But the parents took back the  boy who was undergoing a course in Sama Veda Pathashala for the last four years. 

Based on a complaint by State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Chitoor District conveners Dharmayya and Ramanjaneyulu, a case was registered against the four senior students and a teacher, at the Tirumala town police station.

The parents of the boy had also approached the State Human Rights Commission which had sought a report from TTD authorities within a week.

“We are more upset by the indifferent attitude of the TTD senior officials who failed to act in time after our complaint last month. They initiated the actions only after the incidents came to light through media,” said the victim’s mother.  “The seniors even forced us to watch vulgar and obscene video clippings on mobile phones,” said the victim on Thursday.

Admissions suspended
Meanwhile, the TTD has decided to suspend admissions for the coming academic year beginning July due to the shocking episode. It also banned possession of mobile phones by students while on the campus. The authorities separated the quarters of junior and senior students on the sprawling campus   and also directed the teaching faculty to stay on the campus with their families henceforth.

The Veda Pathashala is governed by the TTD through a governing council which also manages S V Vedic University and several other institutions.

I Y R Krishna Rao, the Executive Officer of TTD, said action has already been initiated and the parents and the victim boy have also been assured of all support and care. “We did not stop them when they wanted to take away the boy,” he said adding that the TTD will take every step to ensure that such a thing did not happen any where in the hill shrine.