Police want speedy trial after Bihar school strips minor girls for not paying Rs 750 fees

PATNA: Police in Bihar's Begusarai district today moved the court for speedy trial against administrators of a private school, charged with sending home two minor girls semi-naked as their parents could not pay the uniform fee.

The police had on Friday arrested director Bhavna Devi and principal Mukesh Kumar of BR Education Academy, a middle school (till Class 8) at Sikraula village in Koriya panchayat of Begusarai, 124 kms east of state capital Patna.

Begusarai superintendent of police Ranjit Kumar Mishra said the accused had on Friday forced the girls to take off their uniform as they had not paid its requisite fee.

"The school had some two months back distributed uniform among its students for which it had charged Rs 750. The girls had not paid the uniform fee," said Mishra.On Friday, when father of one the victims came to pick up his daughter after the dispersal of school, the accused asked him to pay the uniform fee. He reportedly sought some time for paying the money, after which the accused forced the girls to strip and return home semi-naked.

The SP said while the residence of one of the girls was a kilometre away from school, the other resided some 3 kms away and had to walk the distance in semi-naked condition.

"We arrested the accused within two hours of the complaint being lodged at the Mufassil police station. We are filing the chargesheet today (Monday) and will request the court for a speedy trial against the accused," Mishra added.The school administration has denied the charge and said that it was a conspiracy to malign the institution.

Bihar education minister Ashok Choudhary, who ordered an inquiry into the incident, termed it as "insensitive". He said stern action would be taken against the school and the culprits.

Meanwhile, woman activist Abha Singh said, the "horrendous incident" was a blot on India's image.

"I think this incident of stripping naked two girls and parading them in Begusarai is not only a blot on India, but it destroys the image of Indian's across the world, especially when we are talking of initiatives like Beti Bacho, Beti Padhao," she told ANI in Mumbai.

Singh called on the state government to take stern action against the school administration and book them under Section 9 (u) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.

"Where would the girl have education if the father could not pay the fees? They could have called the father to school or there are so many welfare schemes. They could have written to the state government for some scholarship, rather than doing that the school authority stripped them," she said.

 

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