In a distressing turn of events in Jind, Haryana, 56-year-old Kartar Singh, the principal of a government girls school, stands accused of sexually assaulting a staggering 142 girl students. The survivors’ courage in coming forward triggered a police investigation, shedding light on a disturbing tale of abuse within the state’s educational system.
The revelation has sent shockwaves through Haryana as 142 girl students from a government girls school in Jind stepped forward to testify against the accused principal, Kartar Singh. The 56-year-old principal was apprehended on November 4 and is currently in judicial remand at Jind jail. Initially reported with 60 survivors, the scale of the alleged crimes raises serious concerns about the safety and well-being of students in educational institutions.
The harrowing ordeal unfolded during interviews conducted by a committee, headed by a sub-divisional magistrate, with 390 girls from classes 9th to 12th. Disturbingly, 142 students provided direct or indirect confirmation of the allegations against Singh. Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Imran Raza affirmed the committee’s findings, leading to Singh’s arrest on November 4. Charges include sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act and molestation under the Indian Penal Code.
In the wake of Singh’s arrest, additional charges of wrongful restraint, confinement, criminal intimidation, and aggravated sexual assault were added to the FIR under Sections 341, 342, 506 of the IPC, and Section 10 of the POCSO Act.
The gravity of the accusations has prompted both criminal and disciplinary actions against Singh. The committee has recommended disciplinary measures, and a comprehensive inquiry overseen by Additional Deputy Commissioner Harish Vashisht will follow the submission of a charge sheet.
The shocking details of the alleged crime surfaced on August 31 when 15 students penned a five-page letter to the highest offices in the country, seeking action against the accused principal. While the Haryana secondary education department suspended Singh on October 27, the extent of the trauma inflicted on the survivors remains a matter of deep concern.
The brave girls, in their letter on August 31, addressed the President, the Haryana governor, and the National Commission for Women. The government’s response included the suspension of Singh on October 27, with Chief Minister ML Khattar expressing zero tolerance for such incidents.
In response to the horrifying incident, a woman principal has been appointed at the Jind school, and 16 other staff members have been transferred. Proactive measures are being taken, with the chairperson of the Haryana State Women’s Commission organizing seminars in collaboration with the police to prevent such heinous acts.
The Haryana sexual assault case has reverberated through the nation, underscoring the urgent need for robust measures to ensure the safety of students in educational institutions.