The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plot whiff in teacher axe row

Malda, Dec. 31: A teacher of a Kendriya Vidyalaya here has been sacked on charges of sexual harassment.

Though the accused teacher of the central school, located 30 km from here, denied the charges and claimed that he has been framed, as many as 15 girls have complained against him in writing last year.

The authorities of the institution within the NTPC housing complex had set up a six-member inquiry committee to probe the charges. “His service was terminated since he was found guilty of moral turpitude by the committee, which had talked to the students individually,” said teacher-in-charge of the school Bribhunandan Sharma in the absence of principal R. Geeta Kumari, who is out of station.

The termination letter signed by the commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Rangalal Jamudar, has been handed over to the teacher.

One of the students, on the basis of whose complaint the teacher lost his job, said on condition of anonymity: “We had not levelled such allegations against him.” However, the termination letter, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, quotes her as saying that the accused had asked her: “Have you ever gone through sexual intercourse'”

The 50-year-old teacher said he has been “framed” because he is a Bengali. Often language was a major impediment to communication with the students, he claimed.

Citing an example, the teacher said he had once told an overweight girl in Bengali: “Tumi to darate parchona, tomar pa bhari hoye geche (You can’t stand because your legs have become heavy). In Hindi, “pao bhari” is a euphemism for pregnancy. “The next day, the parents of the Hindi-speaking girl complained against me. However, when I explained, they understood. But the principal has used this to conspire against me,” the teacher alleged.

According to him, there are only two Bengali teachers in the institution and he had protested against a write-up maligning Bengalis, which appeared in the school magazine last year. At that time, the controversy was reported in a number of local newspapers.

“From that day onwards, some of the teachers have been after me. Had I harassed the students sexually, they would have gone to the police. Instead they simply signed a complaint drafted by the principal,” the accused teacher said.

Asked why the police were not approached, Sharma said “the school has nothing to do with it. It was the girls who complained”.

Congress MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury said there was a “deep-rooted conspiracy” against the teacher. Khan Choudhury said he has already taken up the matter with human resource minister Arjun Singh.

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