A shocking case of child sexual abuse from Tiruvannamalai’s Arani town has come to light. A 30-year-old teacher, Nithya, was arrested by the police on Wednesday. The complainant, in this case, is her husband, Umesh Kumar. He had approached the Collector in December last year after he found some explicit pictures of his wife with some children, her students, on her phone.
It has also now come to light that Nithya has been a repeat offender. The previous school, where she used to work, had transferred her, allegedly due to similarly abusive behaviour towards her students. A district official tells TNM that the school learnt of her misconduct with students six months ago, and they transferred her from one school to another.
“Instead of taking corrective measures, they transferred her. After receiving her husband's complaint, we enquired with the headmaster, who concealed the information and gave a report of her good conduct. Only when the social welfare department got involved were we able to unearth these details,” he says.
Following Collector’s orders, the District Social Welfare Department began an investigation in December last year. A complaint was then registered by the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) in January 2019.
The complaint has been filed under Sections 10 (aggravated sexual assault) and 14 (punishment for using child for pornographic purposes) of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Further inquiries are being conducted into Nithya's behaviour.
Speaking to TNM, Arani’s All Women's Police Inspector SB Mythili says, “Over a period of three years, that is, from 2015 to 2017, she has sexually abused a few of her students between age groups of 15 and 17 at school as well as at her tuition classes, capturing intimate photos with them on her phone. So far, we have evidence of her harassing two boys.”
How it came to light
Nithya, a resident of Kamaraj Nagar in Arni town of Tiruvannamalai, was an English teacher at a school in the district. Having obtained the government job in 2014, the police tell TNM that Nithya has been transferred to different government schools in Arani since 2014.
About three years ago, following problems with her husband, Nithya moved to a different house. Since then, her husband has been approaching the police stations accusing his wife of adultery. He was not aware of the graveness of the situation then.
It was when he chanced upon the explicit images in his wife's mobile phone that he approached the Collector with proof of her behaviour. She had reportedly kept those photos to share them online.
Following the incident, Nithya has since been removed from her posting by District Primary Education Officer V Jayakumar. Justice Devanathan of Fast Track Mahila Court, Thiruvannamalai, sentenced her to be lodged at Velur Central Women’s Jail till April 4 until further investigations are complete.