Chandigarh: The revelation yesterday that at least 17 minor girls were raped by two teachers in a government-run school in Haryana caused shock and outrage across the state, forcing authorities to suspend seven employees of the school. One of the rape victims at Durjanpur village in Jind district recently became pregnant, and this led to the issue becoming public.
Reacting to reports aired on CNN-IBN TV channel, district police officials registered a first information report (FIR) or formal complaint after families of the victims had failed to take up the matter with the police. Finally, the parents of the pregnant victim filed a complaint against the two teachers, who were accused of raping 17 girls in the school. Durjanpur remained tense after the issue became public. Local sub-divisional magistrate Mohammed Shahid said action would be taken against the teachers, one of whom taught mathematics while the other was a sports instructor. The teachers had not been arrested till late yesterday.
Villagers said the girls were raped by the teachers over the past eight months. Despite complaints from the girls that they were being sexually exploited, the village panchayat or council chose not to register a case with the police for fear that the matter might bring a bad name to the village. After one of the girls became pregnant, one of the teachers accused of rape went to her house and struck a deal with her parents to get her to undergo an abortion. Villagers said the teacher offered to pay Rs150,000 to the girl’s family.
Haryana’s director general of school education K.K. Khandelwal said that seven teachers at the school had been suspended. These included the principal, the two teachers accused of rape and four other teachers.
Khandelwal said the entire staff of the school – numbering 17 – had been transferred following independent inquiries conducted by the sub-divisional magistrate and district education officer.