Dehradun boarding schools to be probed after sexual assault on a 9-year-old boy...

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The Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has sought an investigation of all the boarding schools in Dehradun after an incident of sexual assault and harassment of a nine-year old boy by the hostel warden of a city-based boarding school came to light on Saturday last.

The hostel warden was arrested for allegedly assaulting and sexually harassing a 9-year-old class 3 student inside the hostel, where the boy was stuck alone due to the lockdown. He narrated his ordeal to his parents who had come to take him home on Saturday after the lockdown was relaxed.

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The incident is one among several reported from Dehradun’s boarding schools in the last few years, including gang-rape of a class-10 girl by fellow students and the murder of a 7-year-old class-3 student by his seniors.

Usha Negi, chairperson of SCPCR said the incident warrants a probe to establish if the boarding schools in the city are following the safety norms.

“It is a very serious incident. In the backdrop of this and previous incidents in boarding schools, we have asked the district education department to probe all the boarding schools to check whether they are following the norms and regulations regarding children’s safety or not,” Negi said.

Negi added that she was concerned about such incidents coming up at regular intervals despite the tightening of the rules for the boarding schools.

“The school managements should understand that they are not just responsible for giving education but have to ensure the safety of the children studying in the schools. They are the future of our country and we won’t let these incidents happen again and again,” she said.

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Asha Painuli, chief education officer, Dehradun said the department hadn’t received any communication from the child rights body so far.

“We are yet to receive any kind of communication from SCPCR on the same. But we have already issued notice to the school management in the recent case,” said Painuli.

Painuli added that the department will take proper action in this case once the police probe is over.

“Whenever such an incident is reported from any school, the district education department takes proper action the police investigation confirms the incident. In this incident too, we will take proper action after the police probe concludes. We are keeping an eye on the boarding schools to ensure that children are safe,” Painuli said.

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