//Rapist teachers arrested in Haryana

Rapist teachers arrested in Haryana

Two teachers of a government high school in a Haryana village were arrested Thursday evening for raping a 13-year-old girl student who was now pregnant. The two accused were identified as Ram Kumar Punia, a mathematics teacher, and Rameshwar, who taught physical training.

Jind district magistrate M.P. Bansal confirmed the arrest of the teachers of the school in Durjanpur village. While the duo allegedly molested many girls in the school for more than eight months, the matter came to light only in the wake of media reports Wednesday of a minor girl becoming pregnant after rape. Bansal said there was a 48-hour delay in the arrests as the two accused had been absconding.

It was earlier alleged that 17 girls of Classes 8 and 9 had been repeatedly molested and raped by the two over the last eight months.But district officials, including Bansal, denied the charge saying that only one complaint had been received."For us there is only one rape that has happened. We have received only one complaint," Bansal said.He and Jind district administration officials refuted allegations that 17 girls had been raped, saying the issue had been exaggerated by TV channels.Villagers now said that only seven and not 17 girls had been sexually exploited. The medical examination of the pregnant girl confirmed the rape, police officials said. Durjanpur village remained tense throughout Thursday as villagers had been demanding the teachers’ arrest. "If we lay our hands on them, we will lynch them even if the government then hangs us," a youth from the village said. He said that the honour of the entire village had been eroded and shame had been brought on the community. Meanwhile, in this Jat-dominated Haryana’s heartland, differences on caste lines over the issue started cropping up Thursday. The allegedly molested and raped girls belonged to a lower caste. Both the accused teachers had been threatening the families of the girls not to cooperate with authorities.Only a handful of students, including a few girls, attended the school Thursday.

The school principal and eight teachers, including the two main accused, had been placed under suspension by the Haryana government