Dalit Girls Disrobed by Teachers in Hapur 'Don't Want to Go to School,' Say Kin
The two teachers have been suspended, and an FIR has been filed against them.
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“My daughter has stopped going to school, and she cries every morning. She’s afraid that the incident will happen again,” said the father of a nine-year-old girl, who was allegedly “stripped” off her uniform by two teachers in a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur on 11 July.
The father of the child told The Quint that the two female teachers allegedly asked his daughter and his niece – who are class IV students of the school – to disrobe and give their uniforms to two other students for a class photograph. The teachers have been suspended.
The father of the child alleged that this incident took place because “we are from the Dalit community.”
On 18 July, an FIR was filed against the two teachers under sections pertaining to causing hurt, intentional insult, assault with intent to dishonour, among other sections of the IPC, and under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The father told The Quint;
I believe this incident happened because we are Dalits. My daughter and niece were disrobed and they were made to stand like that till the class photo wasn’t done.Father of the-year-old
What happened on 11 July?
On 11 July evening, when the father of the nine-year-old girl reached home after work, he saw the two girls sitting quietly in a corner. Visibly upset, he inquired if all was well. “They looked scared and as soon as I asked what happened, they burst out crying. They told me they were asked to disrobe and give their uniform to two upper-caste students who didn’t come in uniform, for a class photo. They told me how they refused to remove their clothes but were beaten up and forced to remove their clothes. The teacher even threatened them that if they speak about what happened, they will be removed from school,” alleged the child’s father.
The father claimed that the two other students were also class IV students and it was a group photo, in which his daughter and niece were not included.
In the FIR, accessed by The Quint, the father of the child wrote that he visited the school the day after the incident and spoke to other students who verified what had happened.
Meanwhile, one of the accused teachers denied the allegations. She told The Indian Express that she was “unaware of the incident and that some students had asked the girls to remove their uniform for the class photo.”
Vijay Sampla, Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), asked the police for an action-taken report, after which the FIR was lodged.
“Incident Broke our Faith in Schools”: Father
Every day, the father of the nine-year-old hopes she will return to school but he understands her reasons. “If a teacher can do such a terrible thing, which child would want to go to school?” he asked.
He said that the family can’t afford private school tuition and that’s why the girls were enrolled in a government school.
This incident, however, has broken our faith in schools. I do not want their education to be paused.Father of the nine-year-old girl
In his complaint, which is a part of the FIR, the father wrote, “Such teachers are a blot in the name of teachers. These are teachers who break the children and instil feelings of inferiority in them. Such teachers do not have any legal right to stay on in their positions.”
Before the police lodged the FIR, the family reached out to Ravikant, President of Shoshit Kranti Dal, who brought up the issue with the Basic Shiksha Adhikari, who oversees primary education in government schools. The two teachers were then suspended.
Ravikant told The Quint, “The two students belong to lower-income, Dalit families and they were forcibly stripped. It was only after the SC Commission took cognizance that some action was taken.”
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