Collector removes principal booked under POCSO Act
TIRUVANNAMALAI: Collector KS Kandasamy on Monday relieved one Kumar Thakur, principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) in the district, of his post following strong objection to his appointment from the Parents Teachers Association of the KV which alleged that Thakur was facing charges of sexually harassing students.
Speaking to Express, Collector Kandasamy, who is also the Chairman of the KV, said, “As the chairman, I don’t want to spoil the school’s reputation. I have also written to the commissioner of KV to appoint a new principal at the earliest. Temporarily, the senior most faculty in the school has been given the additional charge.”
Thakur was posted as the principal of KV school in Tiruvannamalai on August 13, 2018, while he was reportedly undergoing trial in a sexual harassment case. The decision to unseat him came after he allegedly sent messages to a group of female staff in a WhatsApp group asking them their passport-size photos to upload in the school website. The KV norms, however, require a circular to be issued for collection of information from anyone. In this case, Thakur did not issue any circular to teachers, said T S Sankar, Vice-Chairman and head of the PTA.
On the posting of Thakur, who had been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Sankar had written a letter to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) officials asking them to withdraw the decision. “We did not want a principal who was accused of sexual harassment. In reply to our request for a new principal, KVS said that a warning was issued to Thakur not to indulge in such acts. But we did not want warnings but a replacement.”
Thakur was arrested on January 31, 2017 after a complaint lodged by Child Line for sexually harassing students at a KV school in Bengaluru. But, he was released on bail the next day. When Express contacted the office of the deputy commissioner of KVS, Chennai, the official refused to comment on the issue.
“While it allegedly took 3-4 months for a student to report the sexual harassment by Kumar Thakur, especially in a city like Bengaluru, I am afraid if something would happen to my students in Tiruvannamalai, which is not as developed,” said Sankar.
Sought photos of female teachers
Thakur was posted as the principal on August 13, 2018, while he was reportedly undergoing trial in a sexual harassment case. The decision to unseat him came after he allegedly sent messages to a group of female staff in a WhatsApp group asking them their passport-size photos to upload in the school website