Thousands march to demand justice for KV Tura rape victims

Heat on CRPF commandant post termination of service of accused teacher

Students and citizens from different corners of Tura join a protest rally against the rape and sexual assault of the two students, in Tura on Tuesday. (ST)
Students and citizens from different corners of Tura join a protest rally against the rape and sexual assault of the two students, in Tura on Tuesday. (ST)

TURA: A day after the termination of service of one of the rape accused teacher by the authorities of Kendriya Vidyalaya, the Commandant of the 120 Bn of the CRPF is now under police inquiry for his role on the day the accused principal and teacher were taken into custody.
The service of contractual teacher Deepjyoti Das was terminated on Monday by the deputy commissioner of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan based in Guwahati while acting Principal Yogesh Joshi was placed under suspension. Both are currently in police custody.
The West Garo Hills district administration is also pressing for the termination of service of the acting principal Joshi.
An inquiry has been taken up against the commandant Rati Kanta Behera based on the FIR filed against him by a group of parents of the school students mentioning his visits to the homes of the accused teachers and for arriving on the premises without informing the police and in a vehicle with the number plates covered in black tape on the day the students had raised an alarm against the rape allegedly perpetrated by their acting principal, Yogesh Joshi, and contractual teacher Deepjyoti Das.
“As the chairman of the Vidyalaya Management Committee of Kendriya Vidyalaya Tura an FIR has been lodged after a meeting with all the members, teachers and staff of the school on Monday and taking a firsthand account of what happened and further reports of the school teachers,” informed Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi.
The FIR has been filed for repeated sexual assault of the minor girls, harassment and mental torture by the two accused driving one of  the victims to the point of attempting suicide. The probe will also look into any possible cases of abetment of the crime on the day of the lodging of the first FIR or even before that by whosoever concerned and naming in two FIRs which includes the inquiry into the act of the CRPF commandant for fair investigation.
While the district administration and the police investigate the crime, several thousand school and college students together with citizens of Tura town gathered at Chandmary field on Tuesday morning to protest the rape incident.
They were joined by several student and social organizations of Garo Hills including the Garo Students’ Union, ADE, FKJGP, AYWO, FAF, Mothers’ Union, senior citizens and church leaders.
South Tura MLA John Leslie K Sangma who also addressed the crowds demanded exemplary punishment for the two accused teachers and the arrest of the CRPF commandant for his alleged role in the entire episode.
“A thorough probe must be done into the sequence of events particularly the celebration of the principal’s birthday at his residence wherein he had asked a group of students to attend,” demanded Sangma.
He further demanded that the CRPF officer should not be allowed to go scot-free for his attempt to take away the accused principal and teacher from the school before police could arrive on the scene.
“He may claim many things in the media but the investigation will give the right picture,” added John Lesley K Sangma.
FKJGP president Pritam Marak informed that lawyers of the Tura Bar association had decided not to take up the case on behalf of the accused and demanded that child protection committees must be constituted in each school to safeguard children.
GSU president Tengsak G Momin demanded that the two accused teachers and the CRPF officer should be put behind bars for their entire lifetime for their crimes against innocent children.
The crowds later undertook a procession in the town and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner demanding there should be no let up in the investigation and the guilty be given the harshest of punishment.

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