Molestation of school girls: CRPF constable arrested

Raipur: Police have arrested a CRPF constable and identified another jawan in connection with the alleged molestation of girl students of a state-run residential school during a cultural programme in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

The two personnel were identified last evening based on the statements of the victims and photographs of the event, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap told PTI.

Shamim Ahmed (31), a constable belonging to the CRPF’s 231 battalion, was arrested today, he said.

The constable will be produced in local court today, he said.

The SP said that a police team was sent to nab the other identified personnel, who is believed to be on leave since August 3 and went to his home town Dehradun in Uttarakhand after the incident came to light.

The incident allegedly took place on July 31, when a ‘Raksha Bandhan’ programme was organised by the CRPF troopers ahead of the festival at the state-run residential school in Dantewada’s Palnar village under Kuakonda police station.

The paramilitary force, deployed to counter Left-Wing Extremism in the area, has been organising such events in Palnar since some years.

Nearly 500 girls took part in the July 31 event and tied rakhi to the CRPF personnel. The event was aired on a local news channel on August 7.

Later, the school hostel’s warden complained to the district administration that CRPF personnel allegedly followed the girls to the toilet and molested them on the pretext of frisking, the SP said.

Based on the complaint, an FIR was lodged under IPC section 354 (molestation) and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act at the Kuakonda police station, he said.

Dantewada Collector Saurabh Kumar earlier said the district administration had formed a five-member committee headed by zila panchayat’s chief executive officer (CEO) to look into the matter.

The CRPF was also conducting an inquiry into the incident at its level, he had said.