Teachers stage dharna over suspension of school staff
New Delhi: Scores of teachers from primary schools of three municipal corporations on Saturday staged a demonstration here to protest suspension of five of their staff members in the wake of the rape of a seven-year-old in a school in Mongolpuri on March 1.
"We demand that the suspended staff be reinstated immediately and that a departmental enquiry be constituted in the matter," said Chairman of the Joint Council of Primary Teachers Ram Kishan Punia, adding that the council condemned the incident in strongest terms.
Four staff members of the Mongolpuri school - Principal Neelam Karwal, class teacher Monica Kohli, school attendant Sushila and watchman Kailash - were suspended on March 2 by NDMC Commissioner PK Gupta. School Inspector Balraj Singh was also suspended.
Refuting the charge that the alleged rape took place inside the school premises, suspended principal of the school in question denied involvement of any staff members in the crime.
"The child was all right in the afternoon when she went home. The rape didn't happen in our school and the staff is innocent," claimed Neelam Karwal at the demonstration in Jantar Mantar.
"If the incident happened in the premises, why wasn't a complaint lodged the same day. In fact, when the parents came to school the next day, they didn't talk to us but started protesting," she said.
Kohli also supported the principal. "We were there the whole time and the incident could not have happened inside the building. I hope you all will support us," Kohli said.
Demanding that responsibility be fixed at the highest level, spokesperson of the Council Sajid Usmani demanded a fair enquiry.
"Even today, no one knows exactly where the incident happened. Why is no one asking for the resignation of the education director or the commissioner? We demand that a departmental enquiry be conducted and only then action taken against those found guilty," Usmani said.
More than a week after the alleged rape, police have been unable to name a suspect in the case.