A case has been registered against unidentified members of CRPF after it was said that some school girls were inappropriately touched during a cultural event held ahead of Raksha Bandhan in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. A case was registered under section 354 IPC and POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act).
The district administration has also formed a five-member committee to look into the matter and the police have launched an investigation as well. The alleged incident happened on 31 July.
District officials told The Indian Express that the incident happened at an event organised by CRPF at a girls’ hostel in Palnar village under Kuakonda police station. “This Raksha Bandhan programme is being held for the past four years, where students tie rakhis on the personnel. This year it was held in collaboration with a media channel,” a district official said, reported The Indian Express.
“The allegation is that some girls went to the toilet during the programme. Two men in uniform met them and said they were to be frisked. One person then touched them. The children told their principal, and a case was registered under Section 354 IPC and POCSO. Once we get statements recorded under Section 164, more sections could be added,” Abhishek Pallava, Additional SP (Dantewada), said.
Dantewada collector, Saurabh Kumar went to the hostel, along with the Dantewada superintendent of police (SP) and local CRPF deputy inspector general, and spoke to the girls. “The girls said they were physically searched by the men in uniform when they were returning from the toilet,” he said.
As the incident surfaced, AAP leader Soni Sori accused authorities of “trying to cover up” the molestation. “I was not allowed to meet the students when I went to the hostel. I spoke to the girls from the nearby villages, who study in the school. They told me that the incident had indeed taken place. Some security personnel followed the girls to the toilet, where they molested them.”