Stop child abuse

A team comprising of representatives from the Galo Welfare Society, the Indian Council of Child Welfare (Arunachal Pradesh) and the National Alliance of Women (Arunachal Pradesh) visited Likabali in West Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh, on August 30 to ascertain the progress on the investigation of the unfortunate Green Valley School case where young students of class I to VII have lodged complaint against the school management, headmaster and a particular teacher for sexual abuse of children in the school over the last more than a year.

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It was found that the first information verbally lodged by a group of 7-8 students to the Officer-in-Charge (OC), Likabali police station was not entered in the General Diary (GD), and the IGP, SP, SP(Security) who are camping in Likabali to monitor the case were not aware about the same.

 

It was also found that a laptop and cds, which the students used to see the main accused use in the school was not recovered by the police as an angry mob had vandalised the school even before the police could swing into action.

 

“Their anger of the mob is understandable. But that is not the best way to deal with in a criminal case scenario. Someone seems to have taken away the laptop and cds (that students used to see the main accused use) during the vandalising / before the police could fully swing into action. He is supposed to have worked in the prestigious Bluepine School in Ziro earlier and thrown out from there. It is quite probable that this man was into child pornography. This ought to be another angle of investigation,” said Jarjum Ete, social activist.

 

While the initiative of the government has been highly appreciated by all, the concerned parents also felt that the government schools in the remote villages and circle headquarters need to be revamped, teachers posted, books and furniture and housing facility provided to each school so that poor parents don’t have to send out their little ones so far away from home, for providing them some good foundation.

 

Some of the parents of children who had listed themselves as having been abused were reported to have withdrawn their support for fear of social stigmatisation of the children. Therefore, the visiting members appealed to all concerned to stand united and give witnesses and statements to both the police and the magistrate without fail so that the accused does not get away with the crimes he has committed on the little children. The society at large also ought to refrain from mentioning names of children abused even if they know.

 

The various loopholes about establishing of private schools, their registration with the Department of school education, character verification of persons recruited as teachers etc were emphasised by concerned members of the public. It was also alleged that the five teachers in the police lock-up did not have even have inner line permits which is mandatory for any outsider visiting the state.

 

The visiting team members suggested the local leaders, women organisation representatives, affected family members and youth to mobilise for the retrieval of the missing laptop as at this stage it cannot be ruled out that the main accused might have been involved in child pornography also.

 

The medical board members had come with limited kits for medical tests and later more students had volunteered for tests. Unfortunately, the doctors had to leave for Itanagar as there were no kits left. The OC, Women Police Station, Itanagar, Papum Pare District, has been appointed to investigate the case.