Four days ago, 14-year-old Pavan* a school-going adolescent ran all the way from his school to his house in a state of panic. Pavan, a resident of Reddyhalli in Tumakuru’s Madhugiri was terrified of his Kannada teacher Chandrashekar.
“He ran home and he was panicking. He was scared. My son told me that his Kannada teacher told him to remove his shirt and that he would teach him how to explore his sexuality,” Pavan’s father Hanumanthappa alleged.
Just like Pavan, multiple students studying in Class 8 and 9 in the private school, many allege that they are victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
“Chandrashekar is the Kannada teacher at the school. A few months ago, when school started after the summer break, he had told the students that there would be a special class from 9 am to 10 am every day before regular classes would begin. In the beginning the classes were going on without any troubles. Later he told them that he was going to teach them how to explore their sexuality,” Hanumanthappa alleges.
Over the last two months, students allege that Chandrashekar would force the girls and boys to kiss him and would ask them to take off their clothes. “He had forced some children both girls and boys to kiss him. He would touch them inappropriately and say uncomfortable things to the children. He had threatened to indulge in black magic and kill their parents if they spoke about what was going on to anyone,” Hanumanthappa alleges.
On Thursday Pavan and his friend Arjun* were allegedly forced to remove their shirts. When Chandrashekar allegedly went to touch Pavan, he ran away from the classroom.
“My son told me everything finally. I gathered a few villagers and we went to the school to confront him. He probably knew that my son would have told people about what was going on and Chandrashekar had left the school by then,” Hanumanthappa alleges.
Hanumanthappa and several other village residents went to the Madhugiri Police Station to file a complaint.
An FIR has been registered under sections 354 A (sexual harassment) and 503 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and also under sections 8 (sexual assault of a minor), 9 (punishment for sexual assault of minor), 11 (sexual harassment of a minor) and 12 (punishment for sexual harassment of a minor) of POCSO Act.
Police say that Chandrashekar is on the run. “We immediately went to his house after the complaint was filed. He had absconded by then. We are looking for him,” the police said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Instruction has issued a notice to the school’s management, demanding that Chandrashekar be suspended immediately.
“I personally went to inspect and action will be taken against him,” said K Ravishankar Reddy, District Child Protection Officer.