Malda, Sept. 5: A primary school headmaster in the district has been arrested on the charge of molesting two Class III girls in his office, but he claimed that they were not the students of his institution and he had been framed by their guardians for refusing to issue school leaving certificates.
The alleged molestation took place yesterday afternoon and the headmaster of the primary school in Bamungola, about 55km here, was arrested last night. Today, the headmaster was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by the subdivisional judicial magistrate’s court.
The parents of the two girls have alleged that the 50-year-old headmaster was in the habit of calling their children to his office and molesting them.
“We are aghast at the behaviour of the headmaster. Our daughters were molested in the headmaster’s office yesterday and they said this had been going on for sometime,” said one of the parents.
While being taken to the court, the headmaster claimed that the two girls were not students of his school and that a conspiracy had been hatched against him.
“The two girls are not students of my school. Their parents had approached me for issuing school leaving certificates to the girls. I had refused to do so as they were not my students. I couldn’t imagine then that they would conspire against me,” he said.
The district inspector of primary schools, Tripti Guha, today said there was a trend among parents of late to make headmasters issue school leaving certificates after not sending their wards to studies. “There is definitely pressure on headmasters of primary schools from parents who do not send their children to schools and demand school leaving certificates. The certificates are needed for admission to other schools. I don’t know what took place yesterday, but it seems that the headmaster was framed,” she said.
The police said a lady teacher of the school, Lakshmi Tudu, had also told them that she didn’t know the two girls. “The lady teacher told us that the two girls were not the students of the primary school where the arrested man has been the headmaster for the past three years. However, she has said she saw the girls enter the headmaster’s office yesterday afternoon. But the teacher told us that what had happened inside the office was not known to her,” said an investigating officer.
The law enforcers said the parents had claimed the girls had been studying in the school from Class I. “We have spoken to the parents and they have said the girls are students of the school. We have not yet established whether they had been demanding school leaving certificates from the headmaster,” said a police source.
Swapan Mishra, the chairman of the district primary school council, said he felt that there was a conspiracy to frame the headmaster. “I have ordered a departmental inquiry as I feel that there was a deep-rooted conspiracy. If the headmaster has been wrongly implicated, we will stand by him and provide him with legal help.”