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Shahjahanpur: In a shocking incident a government school teacher from Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur district was arrested for allegedly molesting at least 18 girls, police said.
The principal of the school and an assistant teacher has also been booked for supporting the accused, a computer teacher, police said on Sunday. Police said that all three accused have been booked under sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the IPC and the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
The three accused have been identified as Mohammad Ali the computer teacher, Sajia assistant teacher and Anil Pathak the school principal.
"Case of sexual harassment of minor girls in Tilhar police station of Shahjahanpur. As many as 18 girls have been sexually abused and are to be X-rayed today. The accused has been arrested," Shahjahanpur Senior Superintendent of Police S Anand told ANI.
He said that legal action is being initiated and the Child Welfare Committee has been informed.
"The case pertains to the secondary school located at Tilhar police station in Shahjahanpur district. Mohammad Ali, a computer instructor used to molest minor girls studying in the school. He was supported by the principal Anil Pathak and another teacher Sajia," said Tilhar Circle Officer Priyank Jain.
He said that the village head Pradhan Lalta Prasad filed a complaint against all the accused at Tilhar police station.
One of the girls confided in her parents that her computer teacher used to inappropriately touch her and other girl students. The parents of these girls then raided the school and also recovered used condoms from the school's toilet. A purported video of the incident surfaced on social media.
Officials of the education department have suspended the principal along with the assistant teacher.
"A process has been initiated for departmental inquiry against the computer teacher and will be completed soon. At present the principal and the assistant teacher have been suspended," said Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Kumar Gaurav.
Kumar Gaurav further added that a case has been registered and the police are investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh minister Baldev Singh Aulakh condemned the incident and said that strict action should be taken against the accused.
Asked about the alleged assault on the girls, most of whom hail from the Dalit community, the minister said, "We respect all castes and communities, the matter isn't about Dalits, but about the girls and action should be taken against the accused as per law." (ANI)