PATNA: With the arrest of two more students accused of raping a class-X girl student on the premises of a school in Bihar, the number of arrests rose to six on Saturday even as police kept conducting raids to nab the other 11 accused students and a teacher.
The private school, Dipeshwar Bal Vidya Niketan, at Parsagarh under Ekma police station in Saran district, remained closed as most of its nearly 450 students did not come to attend classes on Saturday. Scores of angry local people and parents who reached the school staged a demonstration demanding immediate arrest of all the accused and closure of the school.
The school’s principal and owner, Uday Kumar Singh, teacher Balajee and two male students were arrested on Friday after the victim girl lodged a complaint with police alleging that 15 male students and three teachers had been raping her on the school premises since December last.
While Uday Kumar Singh and Balajee were forwarded to jail, the six arrested students were sent to a juvenile home. “No such thing ever happened at my school. I have always been present at the school. These allegations are a part of some big conspiracy,” said Singh, 60, to reporters.
The victim, whose statements were recorded before a magistrate on Saturday, said she endured the trauma for seven months because she failed to muster enough courage.
“My father was in jail and at home I had only my mother and younger brother, who is a student of class VII at this school. I told my father everything immediately after he came back from jail and we lodged a complaint with police,” she said. “Whenever I had complained to the principal and other staff earlier, I was told that they would harm me and my brother if I approached police,” she added.
Saran superintendent of police Har Kishore Rai said a five-member team led by SDPO Ajay Kumar Singh is carrying out the investigation and conducing raids to arrest all the accused. Eighteen people – 15 students and three teachers – have been named accused.
“Efforts are on to seize the mobile phones of the accused that were used to store and circulate the video clip,” said the SP. According to the victim, she was first raped by five male students at the school’s toilet in December 2017 and one of the accused had shot a video clip of the incident. The clip was later used to blackmail her and force her into rape by other students and the three teachers of the school.
With questions being raised about the school’s registration, Ekma block education officer (BEO) Mithilesh Kumar said the matter is under probe.
Bihar’s Opposition RJD and Congress attacked the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government over the incident, claiming that the government had failed in ensuring the rule of law even at educational institutions.