Kolkata, Dec 6

Amid massive protests by guardians of students over the alleged sexual assault of a four-year-old girl in the school, the G.D. Birla Centre for Education here on Wednesday "relieved the school's principal of her duties" and announced that the classes would resume from Thursday, a guardians' forum member said.

The announcement came after a long meeting between the school authorities, the guardians' forum, senior officers of Kolkata Police, members of the state Child Rights Commission and other stakeholders on Wednesday evening.

"The school authorities informed the guardians that the present Principal of the school has been relieved of her duties and responsibilities with immediate effect. The existing Vice Principals would run the schools from now on," the member read out from a written document.

"They (school authority) informed that the 'removal' is a legal term and requires due process. The school will reopen from December 7," she said.

A section of the guardians were demanding ouster of the Principal for allegedly trying to cover up the issue of sexual assault and indirectly supporting the accused instead of taking action against them.

The members of guardians' forum also said that the school had agreed to form a body of the guardians with representatives from all the classes.

The forum said it would hold regular meetings with the school authorities to discuss the betterment of the school.

"Several of our suggested measures, including no male teachers in the senior and junior sections, installation of CCTV cameras, posting of female attendants in the school and its buses and separate toilets for boys and girls have been taken note of by the school management," it said.

Terming the outcome of the meeting as a "moral victory", Chairman of West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBSCPCR) Ananya Chakraborty said it could be achieved through sheer dedication of the guardians.

The south Kolkata-based high-profile school has seen continuous protests since the alleged sexual assault on the small girl inside a school washroom by two physical training teachers on December 1.

The two accused have already been arrested and remanded to police custody till December 15, while the Principal and four other teaching and non-teaching stuff have been interrogated by the Kolkata Police's women grievance cell till now.

 

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