Teacher in Net, Plaint against Principal

Father of child who was assaulted says that even the principal should be arrested for threatening him and dissuading him from going to the cops

Mumbai :  The Gamdevi police officials, probing the assault case of five-year-old KG student of St Columba Girls High School, arrested her class teacher Michelle Mark Anthony (26), on Friday morning.

Teacher in Net, Plaint against Principal

The accused has been booked under section 324 (assault) and section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act. “She was produced before a local court which granted her judicial custody till January 18,” said police sub inspector Nitin Mahadik, of Gamdevi police station. A non-cognizable complaint has also been registered against school Principal Annette Lobo, for allegedly threatening the parents of the victim.

According to police, on Tuesday afternoon Princessa Bugde (5), a resident of Prarthna Samaj, and a senior KG student of St Colamba High school was caned by Mitchell with a wooden foot ruler so badly that welts appeared on her legs.

The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon. Her offence: she wrote 13 instead of 31. On reaching home, the victim started crying loudly.

Mandalik further added, “It is a serious crime and we will also write to the BMC authorities and the state education department to conduct an inspection of the school so that in future such incidents do not occur”.

However, Prashant Bugde, father of the victim was not satisfied with the action taken by the police officials.

According to Prashant, on Wednesday, the day after his daughter was allegedly assaulted by the class teacher, he went to the school to have a word with the school authorities.

Teacher in Net, Plaint against Principal

Bugde, a businessman by profession said, “Principal Annette Lobo flatly denied that any such thing had taken place in the school and said that the girl had fallen down through the staircase”.

Bugde alleged that, “Lobo threatened me that her daughter may face dire consequences if the matter is reported in the police station. They must also arrest the Principal for threatening me and my kid”.

St Columba, which opened in 1832, is the first school for girls in Mumbai.

Medical reports confirmed that she had been assaulted with a blunt object, which left bruises on her left and right calf and ankles.

Three men representing the school management tried to convince the father  not to file an FIR. “The management was unaware of the incident and the interaction between you and Lobo. We accept that the teacher has committed a mistake and we are ready to give a written apology, please do not file a complaint,” said one of the person representing school authorities.

Corporal punishment was banned by the Supreme Court in 2000 and is punishable under the Right to Education Act, 2009.

“No teacher can subject students to such punishment. Apart from the RTE, there are penal provisions which a teacher can be tried under. A teacher can be charged under section 323, 325, 339 and 317 of the Indian Penal Code. Depending on the nature of the punishment, the teacher can

also be punished under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences. Act, 2012,” said a senior official from Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Zeeshan Shaikh 

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