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School begins probe into molestation charges against teachers

Child Molestation

Akola (Maha):The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, where at least 49 girl students had last week complained of sexual harassment by their teachers, has launched an internal probe into the alleged offence.

The centrally-funded school chain has launched an internal probe by a three-member panel which has been asked to submit its report in a week’s time.

It is presently recording statements of the victims, official sources said.

Police had earlier arrested the school’s physical training instructor Sandeep Ladkhedkar, chemistry teacher Rajan Gajbhiye and biology teacher Shailesh Ramteke after the girls lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against them.

All of them were subsequently suspended by the Deputy Commissioner of Navodaya Vidyalaya Committee, Pune.

In the case of Ladkhedkar, even though 18 girls had originally alleged molestation, a group of 20 parents have come up in support, and said that they will take back their complaints against other teachers if he (Ladkhedkar) is implicated, a police official said.

The accused have been booked under section 354 (outraging the modesty of woman) of the IPC and also under the (POCSO) Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Ranjit Patil, Maharashtra Minister of State for Home, had visited the school earlier to take stock of the situation.

It has now emerged that the city-based Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya was sent nine notices over the past year for a slew of irregularities.

Meanwhile, Ladkhedkar was produced before a local court last evening following his arrest and Special Judge V N Tambi remanded him in police custody till April 8.

Besides, Gajbhiye and Ramteke – arrested earlier – alleged torture in police custody, following which they were sent in judicial remand after a medical check-up.

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