Telangana State Sports School OSD suspended as girls claim assault

The Child Protection officials, Keesara revenue divisional officer and the newly posted OSD spoke to around 68 staff members and students for over seven hours as part of the investigation.

Published: 14th August 2023 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2023 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

POCSO, Rape, Sexual Assault

Image used for representation. (Photo | Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The State government on Sunday suspended T Harikrishna, the officer on special duty (OSD) at the Telangana State Sports School in Hakimpet on the outskirts of the city, as allegations of sexual harassment of girl students surfaced against him.

A team of officials launched an inquiry even as Harikrishna refuted the allegations. District child protection unit, SHE Teams, a revenue divisional officer and Child Rights Commission are part of the probe team. They spent over seven hours in the sports school premises and collected evidence, including CCTV footage on Sunday. Sources said that the girls expressed mixed opinions on Harikrishna’s behaviour during the inquiry.

Recently, the State sports school was selected as the Khelo India Centre of Excellence. When the reports came out about the alleged sexual harassment of students by Harikrishna, BRS MLC K Kavitha on Sunday morning took to Twitter and requested Sports Minister V Srinivas Goud to look into the matter. Kavitha said that she was shocked to hear the news about sexual assault on students and wanted the minister to take action against the official responsible.

Srinivas Goud, later, told reporters that they placed Harikrishna under suspension. The minister said that the government would not tolerate anyone harassing women. In place of Harikrishna, Sudhakar was appointed as OSD of the school, according to the minister.

The Child Protection officials, Keesara revenue divisional officer and the newly posted OSD spoke to around 68 staff members and students for over seven hours as part of the investigation. The officials said that they recorded the statements of the staff and the students and the inquiry would continue on Monday too. The new OSD, who is also Deputy Sports Officer, said that he would speak to the girl students.

Reacting to the news, badminton player Pullela Gopichand expressed his happiness over the government’s quick response. He said that security should be provided to students. Meanwhile, Harikrishna, asserted that he was innocent and was ready to face the consequences if he was proven guilty. He firmly said that he would come out clean once the probe was completed and the report was submitted to the government.

BRS State president RS Praveen Kumar wondered what the veterinary doctor was doing in sports school and who transferred him from the animal husbandry department. He alleged that as Harikrishna was gazetted officers association leader, Minister V Srinivas Goud, the former TGO leader, posted Harikrishna on deputation to the sports school up to 2025.

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