Tribal school principal, warden held after pregnant student’s suicide

The Principal of the Ekalavya Model Residential School in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpattu, and the hostel warden have been arrested for concealing the rape and pregnancy of a 16-year-old tribal student, police said on Thursday.

The girl consumed rat poison and died on Tuesday night at the Tiruvannamalai General hospital after battling for life for 12 days.

The girl, who was at her home during the lockdown, had returned to school and on December 22, 2021, she fainted in school. She was taken to the nearby hospital by hostel warden Shembagavalli who was informed by the doctors that she was pregnant.

Police said that Principal, Kumaragurubaran, summoned the girl’s parents and without informing them of her pregnancy, sent her back home with them. On January 7, the girl consumed poison and was admitted to the hospital at Tiruvannamalai. Doctors, after examining her informed the parents, that she was six months pregnant.

The girl, when conscious, told doctors that she was repeatedly raped by Hariprasad who was a neighbour. Police took him into custody and he admitted to his crime.

Hariprasad, Kumaragurubaran, 51, and Shembagavalli, 37, were arrested on Tuesday and charged under various sections of the Pocsco Act, the Indian Penal Code, and the SC/ST act. They were produced before a court on Wednesday and sent to judicial custody.

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