Childline to act on Kerala media that publicised details of child sexual abuse victim

Kerala school teacher accused of abusing seven-year-old absconding.
Childline to act on Kerala media that publicised details of child sexual abuse victim
Childline to act on Kerala media that publicised details of child sexual abuse victim
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Four days after the Cheruplassery police in Palakkad registered a case against a government school teacher for allegedly abusing a minor student, the teacher continues to be absconding, say police.

37-year-old VP Sasikumar, has been accused of abusing a seven-year-old girl on March 8.

According to the district childline officials, a team led by the district coordinator visited the government school in the district based on a tip-off.

“We received a call on our toll-free number on Friday and visited the school to meet the girl child. In the process of counselling the girl, she said that she was indeed abused by the teacher a few days ago. We then forwarded the report to the Cheruplassery police,” the Childline official said.

According to them, the alleged abuse took place on March 8. Sasikumar joined the school in July last year, after he got transferred from a school in Wayanad district.

Cheruplassery Sub-Inspector PC Chacko told The News Minute that a case has been registered against Sasikumar under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. However, the police have not been able to nab the teacher yet.

“We have formed three separate teams to search for Sasikumar. He is believed to be a Pattambi native.  He cannot abscond for a long time,” the SI said.

When TNM reached out to the school, the Head Mistress of the school said that an internal inquiry has been ordered.

"Sasikumar has not turned up to class since March 10, Friday. He went on a casual leave for a day and failed to report to work on Monday. Police say that he is absconding. We have initiated an internal inquiry into the incident and the Assistant Education Officer (AEO) will now take necessary disciplinary action against Sasikumar. Based on the AEO's decision, Sasikumar is expected to be suspended from service," the HM said. 

She added that neither have any similar complaints been raised against the teacher, nor have the parents of other students approached the school with similar complaints after the abuse of Class 2 student was reported. 

Action against media

Palakkad childline officials told TNM that they have decided to move legally against certain media publications, after they reported sensitive information pertaining to the case. Those information, the officials maintain, is likely to tamper the identity of the victim.

"Some media outlets even reported the name of the school, which is against the law. In cases related to the abuse of minors, it is illegal to divulge any information that could help others identity the victim. The parents of the girl child are already worried, after several Malayalam publications gave away the name of the school. We are holding a meeting on Tuesday to decide on the further course of action," the official said. 

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