Odisha school principal held for molesting hostel girls



Bhubaneswar: The principal of a private residential English-medium school in Odisha was arrested for making lewd gestures and molesting at least four of the 11 girl students who lived in the hostel, police said on Friday.

This was the second incident of sexual violence against girl students reported in the district this week. A teacher was arrested Tuesday at Sambalpur town for molesting an eight-year-old girl in school.

The principal of the residential school at Gariabahal village in the district of Sambalpur, about 350 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, was arrested Thursday night after one of the girl's parents lodged a complaint, Biswamitra Haripal, a police officer, told a news agency.

The 14-year-old victim told police that the 45-year-old principal would often drop into the hostel and make indecent gestures. He was also molesting girls at the residential school.

Some of the girls had brought this matter to the notice of the school management, but no action was taken. The molestations were going on for over a year, the victim complained.

She said that over the past month, the principal had begun to act with impunity, and his visits to the girls' hostel became more and more frequent. The girl said she told her parents of the harassment, and the police officer said the arrest was made on the basis of her parents' complaint.

The girl alleged that four of the 11 girls staying in the hostel were molested a number of times by the principal in recent months.

While all the girls have since left the hostel, some of them have informed authorities that they will shift to another school. Police are trying to meet all the girl students for investigations, the police officer said.

This was the second incident of sexual violence against girl students in the district this week.

Earlier Tuesday, a teacher was arrested in Sambalpur town after he molested an eight-year-old girl in the school classroom, police said.

The 28-year-old arts and crafts teacher in a private school allegedly gave the students some drawing assignments and started watching an obscene video on his laptop.

When an eight-year-old girl. after finishing her drawing, went to show it to him, the teacher forced her to look at the video, police said.

He also groped her private parts, police said.

The teacher was arrested on the complaint of the girl's parents, and police have seized his laptop.

IANS