Chennai Police Arrests Teacher Accused of Sexual Harassment
Students have levelled allegations that he harassed girls with awkward questions clouded in sexual innuendos.
Just a day after several students of a top school in Chennai, Tamil Nadu levelled allegations of sexual harassment against a teacher, the 59-year-old accused was arrested on Monday night.
The Accounts and Business Studies teacher was arrested under sections 11 and 12 (sexual harassment of children) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, sections 354(A) (sexual harassment) and 509 (insulting modesty of woman) of IPC and sections 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.
Since Sunday night, students have been levelling appalling allegations that he routinely harassed girls with ‘awkward questions’ clouded in sexual innuendos, commented on their figures, and even ‘elbowed their breasts’ and said that it happened by mistake.
The accused was arrested by Ashok Nagar All Women Police Station (AWPS) after he was questioned by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (crimes against women and children) Jayalakshmi. The police team went to the school to investigate the issue. They interrogated the teacher, his wife and his mother at the Vadapalani police station and seized the teacher’s laptop and mobile phone.
After a lot of uproar on social media, the school issued an order of suspension of the teacher on Monday evening. “Some very serious allegations of misconduct have been levelled against you and the same has come to the knowledge of the management through social media. Pending further enquiry into your conduct, without prejudice, you are under suspension with immediate effect,” read the letter addressed to the teacher.
Misconduct Reported in Virtual Classrooms
The students had alleged that the harassment continued even during the lockdown in his virtual classroom. In a story shared by a fashion influencer, a student has accused the teacher of taking a class while in a towel.
He allegedly texts the students individually, commenting on their profile pictures and asking them to send pictures in ‘pretty clothes’, The Quint gathered.
Singer Chinmayi Sripada, who was at the forefront of the #MeToo movement from the Tamil film industry, helped amplify the issue.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi had responded to the allegations promising immediate action.
“Enquiry should be conducted and action must be taken against those who are involved, including school authorities, who failed to act against the complaints from students,” her tweet read.
DMK MP Tamizhachi Thangapandian tweeted to call the allegations ‘horrific and grave’.
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