Parents of children studying in a Malappuram school are protesting the return of a teacher, who was to take up charge after being acquitted in a child abuse case.
Assainar (54), was an Arabic teacher at the government-aided AUP school in Vazhayoor. He was suspended in January 2014 after a Class 5 student complained that she had been abused by him on her way back from the toilet.
In the wake of the allegations, a scuffle ensued at the school premises. The girl’s father attacked Assainar, who was later arrested after the child’s family lodged a complaint. Though he was remanded in judicial custody for nearly 45 days, he was acquitted in April.
After all legal procedure of his appointment were carried out, Assainar returned to the school on Monday. Angry parents protested outside the school refusing to let him in.
The Headmistress is in a dilemma: She has to follow the law in the face of opposition from the parents who allege that he has abused more than one child.
“By law he is entitled to return to the school since he has been acquitted in the case. But the school has received many similar allegations against the teacher. The parents have threatened to shift their children to another school if the teacher returns,” Headmistress Khadeejakutty said. Some locals demanded that Assainar be reinstated, as he is due to retire in another two years, she added.
President of Parents Teacher’s Association Bhaginath too alleged that other children in the neighbourhood had complained of abuse by him.
“A year ago, the school revoked his suspension after he apologized and pleaded to get his job back. But a day or two after that, a child from the neighbourhood said that he had been abused by Assainar. We made a mistake when we allowed him to return the last time. This time, the parents, especially the mothers are determined not to have him back,” Bhaginath said.
According to the parents, the student who had accused Assainar of abuse in 2014 later denied it in court, leading to his acquittal. The student not only quit the school, but her family relocated.
“We clearly know that the teacher is guilty of the crime. And we cannot risk his return,” Bhaginath emphasized.