BENGALURU: Several parents of the children studying at Baldwin Girls’ High School have approached the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KCPCR) demanding the removal of Baldwin Methodist Education Society’s chairman Bishop N L Karkare. They alleged that as Karkare has been accused of sexually harassing a woman, he cannot continue in the top post. However, Karkare said it was a conspiracy against him from a group eyeing the church properties.
The parents had approached the Commission in July and had filed a complaint against Karkare. “Based on a complaint filed by a few parents, we had constituted a panel of advocates to conduct an inquiry and submit a report. The panel has submitted the report. Now, we will issue the order in a day or two,” Commission chairperson Kripa Alva told Express. According to the authorities of the Commission, the matter is considered based on Justice Verma Committee report. “The Justice Verma Committee clearly said that any person who is facing allegations of sexual abuse or harassment will not be allowed to hold a top post in any institution,” said a senior official of the Commission.
“We have received a written complaint where the parents have mentioned about the case pending in a Maharashtra court against Karkare. Even during our inquiry, we found that an FIR was filed at a police station at Udgir in 2015 and the investigation was on,” said a Commission official.
“Appointing him is a clear violation of Karnataka State Child Protection Policy 2016,” the parents said in their complaint.
It’s a conspiracy: Bishop Karkare
Reacting to the allegations, Bishop N L Karkare said, “I have no idea about the complaint filed at KCPCR because I have not received any notice. This is a clear conspiracy against me from a group which is eyeing the church properties.” He alleged that along with land grabbers, some vendors who were supplying stationery and books to the school were involved. “After I took charge as chairman I found out financial irregularities and quashed the contracts of stationery suppliers. So, they have joined hands with these people. They are even paying a few parents to file such false complaints against me,” he alleged. Karkare added that if the Commissione orders him to step down, he will approach higher courts.