Telangana Education Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy on Friday, October 21, ordered to cancel the licence of the DAV Public School in Banjara Hills in Hyderabad. All the students currently studying there would be shifted to other schools in the same locality, a note from the Education Ministry said. The decision was taken after a four-year-old kindergarten student was allegedly sexually assaulted by the school principalâ€™s driver. The accused, Rajani Kumar, has been arrested based on the complaint of the girlâ€™s parents.
Minister Sabitha Reddy stated in the order that it is the responsibility of the District Education Officer (DEO) to assist parents with the transition to a new school. Speaking to TNM, the Hyderabad district education official confirmed that there are about 500 students in the Banjara Hills branch of DAV school. "We will coordinate with parents and talk to each of them class-wise. Depending on the vacancies in other schools in the vicinity, we will coordinate the admission process between them."
The ministry has also announced that a committee would be formed to suggest measures to the government on preventing cases of child sexual assault in educational institutions. The committee would consist of an official from the Education Ministry, Women and Child Welfare Ministry, and a Deputy Inspector General (DIG)-rank police officer who oversees womenâ€™s safety, as members. The committee is expected to submit its report in one week. Based on the submitted report, the Education Ministry would take necessary safety measures, the note stated.
Protests were seen on Tuesday, October 18, after the four-year-old alleged she was sexually assaulted by Rajani Kumar. In the complaint, the parents said she had been allegedly sexually assaulted for two months. Banjara Hills Sub-Inspector Manoj Kumar told TNM that Rajani, who was the principal's driver, would also often take care of the classroom and play cartoons for the children. The accused would handle the digital equipment in the classroom, and he allegedly raped the student in the classroom when no one was around, the SI added.
Meanwhile, the girlâ€™s mother told the media that the principal would allegedly take the girl to the digital classroom alone. She, and other parents, have questioned how the principalâ€™s driver had access to the children, and why the students were not being monitored by a teacher.