Inquiry initiated as NHRC intervenes in students stripping case

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Dec 5: Following the order of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the state Education Department has initiated inquiry into the incident at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) Sagalee, where 88 girl students were allegedly forced to undress in front of other students by three female teachers.
According to the students, 14 girls were stripped naked, while 74 others were partially undressed.
Speaking to The Arunachal Times, Education Secretary Bidol Tayeng informed that the department has received an order from the NHRC, and inquiry has already been initiated through Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner, Tai Kaye.
“We have received the notice from the NHRC and are preparing the reply,” he said.
It was informed that the Deputy Commissioner and two officials from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) visited the school to conduct on-the-spot inquiry, and have arrived with the report, which will now be examined.
In the meantime, Junior Teacher Nabam Janu, who was appointed under the SSA, has been suspended. The other two, Wangmu Thongdok and Sangeeta Khalkho, both assistant teachers, were appointed by the KGBV Sagalee. Since the KGBV does not come under the state Education Department, the government has issued directions to the school’s authorities to terminate their services.
Terming the incident “very unfortunate,” the Education Secretary informed that the department had initiated an inquiry of its own the very day the news of the incident came out.
“We are going through the contents of the NHRC data, and we will be furnishing the action. The contents of the report from the DC and SSA officials are also under examination and it will be sent at the earliest,” Tayeng said.
“We are also sending a counselling team from the headquarters for the students,” he said.
To ensure safety of students, Tayeng informed, the department started the process of creating a comprehensive guideline in August this year, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
He informed that the safety measures would include all aspects, including fire safety and check on corporal punishment. CCTV cameras would also be installed in the schools.
He assured that stringent action will be taken against the erring teachers and authorities.
“We have noticed certain lapses, and we will definitely take action against all those who were responsible, including the higher-ups in the school,” Tayeng said.
On November 23, three female teachers of KGBV Sagalee – an all-girls school – punished 88 students of class six and seven for allegedly passing notes containing indecent remarks about the teachers.