Hyderabad: In the second such incident in the state in the recent past, the husband of a Telangana Social Welfare Residential Girls School principal has been charged with sexually abusing a student of the school. In March 2017, Viluva Raju, husband of Vijayarani, the warden at a government hostel at Neredugommu village in Devarakonda mandal, was arrested for sexually abusing students.
The residential school incident, which occurred in the last week of April, came to light after the student went home for the summer holidays and fell sick, following which her mother lodged a complaint with Gachibowli police. While the police are on the hunt for the suspect, Damodar, the Social Welfare Department has suspended his wife, Pramodini. Meanwhile, accusations have surfaced that the investigation may be delayed owing to Damodar's closeness to certain politicians in Andhra Pradesh, though the police have denied the accusations and said the suspect will be arrested soon.
The Balala Hakkula Sangham (BHS) has demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident. “The safety, care and protection of students should be assured by the government and all the staff should be transferred immediately as they were deliberately hiding the issue. There are rumours that several other students were abused by the same person. A team of women police officers should investigate the matter,” said Achyuta Rao of BHS.
The student in question, who is from Sangareddy district, has been at the residential school for four years. Principal Pramodini has her quarters inside the hostel campus, where her husband was a frequent visitor. Many inmates of the hostel also had free access to the principal’s quarters. In the last week of April, when the victim and another student were at the quarters and Pramodini at the hostel, Damodar sent the second girl away and sexually abused the victim. Two days later, the school closed for summer, and the student, who went home, complained of high fever.
When her mother found out about the incident, she approached the police. A case under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered. Madhapur ACP N. Shyam Prasad said the girl is in shock and still unable to recall the exact date of the incident. She had to be counselled for two days to get her to say more. “The case is being investigated in a fair manner and the suspect will be caught soon,” the ACP said....