A Class II student of a Higher Secondary school in south Calcutta was allegedly molested by a teacher in the library on Monday.
The 45-year-old teacher of physical training, who had joined the school in 1990, was arrested on Tuesday and charged under IPC Section 354 (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. If proved guilty, he could be jailed for up to five years.
“An investigation is on,” said an officer of Lake police station.
The principal of the private English-medium school said the accused had been suspended.
A complaint lodged by the girl’s parents said the child was molested in the library on the campus housing the nursery and primary sections of the co-educational school.
On Monday evening, the parents noticed that their daughter was unusually quiet. She apparently confided to her mother after being asked repeatedly about what had happened.
The parents came to the school on Tuesday and reported the matter to the head of the nursery and primary sections and the principal. “The teacher was questioned in the presence of the student. He denied the charges,” the principal said.
“By questioning the teacher in the student’s presence, the school violated the Juvenile Justice Act. The child’s identity has to be protected,” said Amita Sen, a member of the Child Welfare Committee.
The parents later lodged a complaint with Lake police station.
“The teacher was taken to the police station, where we arrested him,” said an officer.