Published: 05th October 2020
TN preacher suspended for allegedly sending 'inappropriate' messages to school girls for years
Taking cognizance of the matter, the board members of Scripture Union held an urgent meeting on Sunday night and decided to take stringent action against him
A preacher serving with the Scripture Union, a Christian organisation aimed at propagating the Bible, has landed in trouble after allegations emerged that he had been sending messages to some female school students on social networking sites with the aim of exploiting them sexually.
Sam Jaisundar, currently secretary of the English section of publications with the Scripture Union, allegedly sent ‘inappropriate’ messages to school students with whom he had come in contact during an annual vocational Bible school (VBS) event. The issue came to the fore after a Twitter user with the handle @joelgiftson17 on Sunday shared screenshots of conversations purportedly between Jaisundar and students of a Christian school in Vellore. The sexual undertones of the conversation allegedly from Jaisundar triggered a controversy.
Been a serious issue in the world. It's time we put a stop to this right now. Let's stop our children from being victims of sexual harassments in school. I'll share some screenshots of the girls that have put stories in Instagram. Kindly RT so it reaches the concerned 4/n— Joel Giftson (@JoelGiftson17) October 4, 2020
In many of them, a person, alleged to be Jaisundar, asked the children to send him their photos, asked them what they wore at bedtime, if they had ever been kissed and pestered them for hugs. The messages and posts were shared by singer Chinmayi who has been posting accounts of sexual assault and harassment as part of the #MeToo movement. Taking cognizance of the matter, the board members of Scripture Union held an urgent meeting on Sunday night and decided to take stringent action against him. Subsequently, he was suspended on Monday.
“We held an urgent meeting overnight and decided to suspend him. The order of suspension has been issued on Monday,” Joshua Kirubaraj, national director of Scripture Union, told The New Indian Express. “We have formed an inquiry committee to look into the complaints. Further action will be taken against him in accordance with the findings of the committee,” he stated. Sam Jaisundar has been associated with the Scripture Union for the past 17 years. He has been organising the VBS events annually.
Two other staff, Ruben Clement and Albert, were also named on Twitter as alleged abusers. They are also being questioned on the issue, sources said. Meanwhile, a representative of the Vellore school management whose students were allegedly messaged by Jaisundar stated that the Scripture Union had conducted the VBS in May last year and due to the pandemic, the event was cancelled this year.
“We haven’t received any complaints so far. We have had no communications with the Scripture Union since last May. However, as soon as we came to know of the social media posts, we took up the matter with the heads of the Scripture Union and sought strong action against the concerned persons,” the representative said.