A suspected intruder allegedly tried to molest a Class VII student in the washroom of a girls’ school in Baghajatin, triggering a demonstration by parents demanding heightened security on the campus.
The student of Jadavpur Sammilito Valika Vidyalaya reportedly told the school authorities that a man had grabbed her from behind when she entered the washroom on the ground floor around 1.30pm on Monday.
A schoolteacher said: “She told us that an unknown man had put his arms around her from behind the moment she stepped into the washroom. When she struggled to free herself from his clasp, the man tried to smother her and then shoved her onto the floor. He fled after the girl started shouting for help.”
“She was in trauma after the incident. The child’s parents took her home in the afternoon after we informed them about the incident,” she added.
In the evening, the school lodged a complaint with Patuli police station.
The news of the attack sent shockwaves through almost all homes that have daughters studying in that school. Guardians on Tuesday gathered on the campus and asked the school administration to employ more guards and install surveillance cameras for preventing a rerun of the incident.
The guardians alleged that anybody could sneak into the school because it was ignoring their call for CCTV cameras and more guards.
“How can the school protect our daughters with just one guard? We have been asking the school to hire more guards but it has ignored our advice. The school must employ female guards too,” said a woman whose daughter studies in Class VII.
A police officer confirmed that the school has no CCTV camera on the campus. “It will be difficult to identify the offender. A surveillance camera would have captured any outsider entering or leaving the school.”
Some of the parents said they had asked the school to raise the height of the boundary wall from the existing 6ft to 10ft. “Our request has been turned down. A higher wall could have prevented the trespassing,” one of them said.
Sources said many people who have no ward studying in the school — and had no business being there — joined the demonstration.
The situation turned volatile as one demand after another was made during the sloganeering. “Some even raised questions about the standard of education at the school,” said a teacher.
The school authorities had to request a relative of the alleged victim to calm the parents. “The school has promised to beef up security measures. Let us have faith in the authorities and allow the school to function,” the relative told the crowd. The crowd dispersed soon after.