Chandigarh, Feb 9 (IANS) The Punjab Education Department on Friday suspended a government school Principal and two teachers on charge of moral turpitude after the rape of a Dalit girl student by two of them in a school in Jagraon last year came to light.
“Those placed under suspension with immediate effect are (Principal) Bharat Bhushan, a Lecturer in English at the Government Senior Secondary School, Nathowal, Ludhiana district; Harjit Singh, Punjabi Master at the Government Senior Secondary School, Nathowal, (now posted at Government Senior Secondary School, Manuke (Ludhiana); and Sukhvir Singh, Maths Master at the same school, for moral turpitude,” Director Public Instructions (Secondary Education) Paramjit Singh said here.
The headquarters of these teachers will be the office of the Moga District Education Officer (Secondary Education) during their suspension from service.
Police said on Thursday that Harjit Singh and Bharat Bhushan had been arrested in connection with the rape of the 16-year-old Dalit girl student in Jagraon sub-division.
Both were booked under the POCSO Act, apart from other provisions of the law.
The crime was allegedly committed a year ago but came to light after another teacher came across a WhatsApp audio message in which two men — reportedly the accused Principal and teacher — were heard discussing the Class 11 student’s abortion.
After the matter was brought to the notice of police and other authorities, the girl’s statement was recorded before a Duty Magistrate.
Both were booked for rape and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Information Technology Act and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Police sources said after the girl became pregnant after rape, she was forced to abort and threatened to keep quiet.
Ludhiana (Rural) Senior Superintendent of Police Surjit Singh told the media on Thursday that the teenager alleged that she was raped by the teacher in the school library.
The Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had also sought a report from the District Education Officer in this matter.
Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary on Friday instructed Secretary, School Education, Krishan Kumar, to take strict action in the case of moral turpitude at a government school.