Monday, August 21, 2006

[NDTV] Student alleges sexual harassment by seniors

Though banned by the Supreme Court of India, incidents of ragging seem to be ruling the headlines in Uttaranchal.

The latest case making news is that of a class VI student alleging sexual harassment by seniors.

The search for the best education for her daughter brought Sonia Singh to Dehradun, and the Shigally Hill International Academy. It is an all-girls residential school from class III to XI, with 153 students from India, Nepal and Thailand.

It seemed like a perfect school till her daughter complained of being harassed by her seniors.

The class VI student says the harassment has been going on ever since she joined in April this year.

"We complained to the principal that these girls were verbally abusing us and when we would bathe, they would barge in. The principal promised to take action. We also went to the head principal to complain, but she asked me not to become a complaint box," said Sonia's daughter Seema (name changed).

No harassment

The State Women's Commission has now rushed to support Sonia and her daughter.

"We will summon the principal of the school, talk to her and take whatever necessary action is required," said Seema Bhatia, Member, State Women's Commission.

However, Janu Niyal, the principal of the school, refutes the allegations.

"We strongly refute and deny any allegation of sexual harassment on this campus. No such incident has been brought to my notice till date and I deny it and I know that there is something more to it than meets the eye," said Niyal.

For the moment, the police have initiated an investigation.

"A case has been registered with us by a student of class VI who was admitted in this school in May this year. She has filed a complaint stating that her seniors were sexually harassing her," said Raj Kumar, SO, Rajpur police station.

The case registered under Sections 377, 504 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code has seen Dehradun, a city known for its educational institutions, take quite a beating.

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