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CIMA Gallary

Teacher strip-searches girl

A teacher in a Bongaon school allegedly made a Class VIII girl take off her uniform in the staff room to check whether she was hiding Rs 50 that one of her classmates had accused her of stealing.

Following a complaint by the mother of the girl who was allegedly made to strip, police charged the teacher with outrage of modesty.

The alleged incident took place at Gopalpur Giribala Balika Vidyalaya in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday. The complaint was lodged with Gopalpur police station against games teacher Rupali Dey on Friday morning.

The teacher has been charged under sections 354 and 509 of the IPC (outrage of modesty), said a sub-inspector at the police station.

Similar charges had been slapped on a teacher of Berigopalpur Adarsha High School near Gaighata in the same district a fortnight ago for allegedly forcing five students to take off their leggings, which they were wearing in addition to their uniform. The school education department later show-caused the teacher.

At the Bongaon school, Dey took both the complainant and her classmate to the staff room during the lunch break. There she allegedly made the other girl take off her uniform of green skirt and green-and-white striped shirt in the presence of other teachers. The money was not on her.

According to the guardians Metro spoke to, the girl was even made to take off her leggings. None of the teachers apparently protested.

The “traumatised” student told her mother and grandmother about the incident after reaching home. The three of them went to the school on Thursday to speak to teachers.

“The headmistress was not in a mood to talk. Therefore I lodged a complaint to seek justice,” said the girl’s mother.

A member of the school’s managing committee claimed: “The teacher (Dey) explained to the student’s family members that she did not force her to take off her uniform. Rather the girl had volunteered to take off her dress when her classmate accused her of hiding the stolen money in her skirt. The family members appeared convinced but later lodged a complaint.”

Repeated calls to Dey’s cellphone went unanswered. Anita Biswas, the headmistress, also did not receive calls.

Nitai Pal, the secretary of school’s managing committee, said an emergency meeting where the two students, their guardians and teachers would be present has been called to find out what had happened.

He said he had spoken to the student and her mother after the complaint was lodged.

“We would send a team to the school to probe the incident and file a report with the school education department. The department would decide on the course of action,” said an official of the district inspector of school’s office.