Published: 15th November 2021
We ensured that the school principal got arrested: TNCPCR on Coimbatore student's suicide after sexual harassment
Condemning the student's death, the state's Minister of School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on Sunday asked students to call the helpline 14417 to report harassment
On Sunday, the police had arrested Meera Jackson, Principal of a matriculation school and booked her under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act for allegedly trying to hush up the sexual assault of a former student. The student had died by suicide on Thursday after being sexually assaulted by a male teacher of the same school.
At this time, a member of the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child's Rights said that it was the commission that made sure that the principal got arrested. "We are monitoring the investigation and until now, the police have been following the procedures properly," they said. The commission was set up in 2011 and is an autonomous body that monitors the other bodies including the police and the education department.
Condemning the student's death, the state's Minister of School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on Sunday asked students to call the helpline 14417 to report harassment. Addressing the media on Sunday, he said that the students' parents and family had conducted protests, refusing to accept the child’s body unless the principal of the school was also arrested. "With regard to this demand, three teams of police were sent to trace her and she was arrested last night," he said.
This was not the first time a POCSO case went unreported. In May, five schools in Chennai came under the radar when their staff members were called out for sexually harassing students. It all began when accounts against G Rajagopalan, a student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan started surfacing on social media.
At that time, a member of TNCPCR had said that the students had put up allegations on social media and did not contact authorities because they did not know that such a system existed. "If you're affected, go to the police and let the legal proceedings take their course," she then said. She also said that the POCSO Act is quite victim-friendly and that here, the burden of proof is vested with the accused and not the victim. "The child doesn't have to provide photo or video evidence. It is a victim-friendly act," she said.