The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Molester recruits sacked

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct. 24: Trainees from the Central Reserve Police Force who harassed and molested schoolgirls — on a study tour to Kerala — in train, have been terminated from service and sent to jail.

The 61 students of Bersheba Higher Secondary School, Jabalpur, continued their journey towards Kanyakumari on Wednesday even as their 16 tormentors were moved to the sub jail at Eranakulam.

Earlier, the CRPF personnel were produced before first class judicial magistrate N. Leelamani.

The trainees, all from Uttar Pradesh, were charged under various sections of the IPC after the girls identified them at a parade here on Tuesday. They have been remanded till November 5.

The trainees were recruited hardly two months ago at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

The Jabalpur girls had suffered at the hands of the CRPF recruits all along the journey in the New Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram Kerala Express.

According to the teachers on the tour, the youths started harassing the girls “right from the beginning”.

The protestations had no impact. When the protest pitch heightened, the youths manhandled the staff and the students.

When the train entered Aluva near Eranakulam on October 18, the Malayali principal, Shaji Varghese, made bold to complain to the Railway Police Force.

The police took all the 50 CRPF personnel into custody. They were taken to Eranakulam and later shifted to Thiruvananthapuram for the identification parade.

Thirteen girls, who were the main targets of the harassment, identified the accused — Pawan Kumar, Gurpal Singh, Amit Kumar, Nareshpal, Hitter Singh, Manoj Kumar, Ramkumar, Dinesh Kumar Yadav, Sanjay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar Sukla, Ashok Kumar Misra, Nishar Ahmed, Vinod Sangar, Rajan Singh, Ravikumar Sarma and Neeraj Kumar.

Before leaving for Kanyakumari, Varghese said he had brought the girls and boys to Kerala with a promise to show them “God’s own country”.

“But they suffered badly at the hands of the prospective peacekeepers of the country. I wish and hope that the rest of the journey, at least, is enjoyable to them,” he added.

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