UP: School Manager Arrested After 17 Girls Allege They Were Drugged, Molested

New Delhi: Seventeen minor schoolgirls have alleged that they were drugged and molested by two office bearers of two schools in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

Out of 29 students studying in Class 10 of a particular school, only girl students were allegedly called to their own school. Reports say they were made to stay the night in a school building but vary on whether this school is the same as the one to which the girls go to. The manager of the girls’ school – identified in some reports as the principal, Yogesh Chauhan – told them that they would have practical exams in the morning and needed to spend the night in the school.

One of the girls who was molested said that the principal had called them for “Hindu practicals” and said they did not know whether any such board exam had been scheduled the day after at all.

Chouhan allegedly sedated them by mixing drugs in the khichhdi he helped them prepare as dinner.

“The girls lost consciousness after eating khichdi. And then they were molested,” said a complainant, according to a report by NDTV.

The incident allegedly took place on November 18. The principal had threatened the girls with dire consequences if they spoke of their ordeal once home.

Indian Express has reported that police initially did not agree to register an FIR and that the incident came to light only when parents of two of the victims approached Purkaji’s BJP MLA Pramod Utwal.

Utwal told the paper that the girls’ families are poor and did not know to raise a hue and cry at the fact that they were called to stay the night over an exam.

Purkazi police station SHO V.K. Singh was transferred to the police line for negligence of duty in the matter.

“An FIR has been filed and the accused charged under section 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and relevant sections of the POCSO Act,” said Muzaffarnagar police chief Abhishek Yadav.

Chouhan has now been arrested and five teams have been formed to nab another accused, school manager Arjun, who is absconding, Superintendent of Police (City) Arpit Vijayverghay told PTI.

“During investigations, the two girls were found sexually harassed and 15 other girls have denied any harassment,” he added, according to PTI. Reports by NDTV and Indian Express, however, do not mention this claim.

This article was first published on The Wire.

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