TTD asked to compensate victim of sexual abuse

The controversy over the alleged sexual abuse of junior students in the famed Veda Pathashala at Dharmagiri in Tirumala has come back to haunt the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) again.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the temple authorities to pay Rs 4 lakh compensation to a student of TTD’s Veda Pathasala at Tirumala in connection with ragging and physical abuse by senior students.

A division Bench comprising Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar had taken up the plea on the sexual abuse of a student of the Patashala by his seniors as a petition.

After the issue rocked the state, the court appointed amicus curiae Prof Naveen Rao to probe the activities in the Veda Pathasala. It also  directed the authorities to provide medical assistance to another boy of the school, who was allegedly abused by his seniors.

This is the second  incident of the kind when the temple shrine was asked by the court to pay compensation to  a student, allegedly sodomised by his seniors at the Dharmagiri Veda Pathasala, 15 kms away  in the Tirumala hillock,  in early  2011. Earlier, in another incident also the court  had directed payment of Rs 4 lakh  compensation to a student.

The aggrieved parents of a boy from Hyderabad had last year staged a dharna in front of the TTD administrative building here demanding justice for their son. Following this four senior students were rusticated from the pathashala. The parents alleged that they were being harassed for filing a police complaint and urged the TTD to do justice to their son.
The incident of sexual abuse  of another student came out in the open a month ago after the student’s parents brought the matter to the notice of the TTD.

According to the victim, some other students - all in the age group of 8 to 10 years - were also abused by their seniors.

“They used to forcibly make them watch obscene video clippings.” sources said.

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