Girls molested in Kittur Rani Chennamma residential school
Bengaluru: Close on the heels of the arrest of Mallikarjun Swamy – former principal of Kittur Rani Chennamma Girls Residential School in Yellamanapalya in Anekal taluk, a fresh case of alleged sexual assault of teenaged girls – all inmates of Kittur Rani Chennamma Girls Residential School in Alamel in Sindagi taluk, Bijapur district has sent shock waves. Child right activists on Tuesday wrote to the government to take immediate action against the accused, protect the victims and secure the government-run residential schools and hostels from sexual predators.
Former chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR), Nina Nayak told Deccan Chronicle that Childline, Bijapur had received a complaint from six adolescent girls, who are inmates of the residential school in Alamel in Sindagi taluk in Bijapur district that they were allegedly sexually assaulted by a man, who is reportedly an outsider but has “free access” to the hostel and the girls. “The girls in the age group of 16 to 17 called up the Childline 1098 and complained that they have been sexually assaulted by a man, who is not a staff member but has easy access to the hostel.
On Tuesday, around 16 child rights outfits and activists in the state wrote to the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD), seeking an immediate inquiry and action. I have individually written to the Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions Society (KREIS) to take necessary action and set up child protection councils in all hostels and schools. Two years ago, we had conducted a study on the government-run residential schools in the state and had submitted a report on their pathetic condition to the KREIS, but no action has been taken so far,” said Ms Nayak.
Principal Secretary, DWCD, Amita Prasad confirmed that they have received the complaint and she has asked for a time-bound high-level inquiry into the incident. “We have also informed the Department of Social Welfare, which runs these hostels to also look into the matter and have alerted the Deputy Commissioner, Bijapur to provide appropriate protection to the victims. A team of officials accompanied with a child psychologist and counselor from Dharwad will visit the residential school to take stock of the situation and help the traumatised children,” said the bureaucrat.