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Thursday, September 20, 2001

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Schoolboys sexually assaulted at SW residential school

By Our Staff Reporter

NIZAMABAD, SEPT. 19. In a shocking incident, two teachers of the Social Welfare residential school for boys at Yellareddi were chased and allegedly roughed up by a group of students, holding them responsible for exposing the alleged sexual assault by class X students on juniors.

The manhandling of the teachers by the students in full public view in Yellareddi town, came as a rude shock but brought to light the happenings in the residential school for the last few months. The assault resulted in the local police swinging into action and enquiring into the incident of alleged sexual assault on sixth and seventh class students by their seniors.

In the wake of the incident, the police as well as the Social Welfare department officials rushed to Yellareddi and began an enquiry into the happenings at the SW residential school for boys. Four students accused of allegedly sodomising the juniors were taken into custody. Two other teachers were also held following a complaint by the teachers who were beaten up by the students.

Trouble has been brewing in the school for the past few days, with teachers virtually divided into two groups. One group reportedly supported the students, who were harassing the juniors. The rival group of teachers, who tried to expose the activity, were targetted. The differences among the teachers took a turn for the worse after the shameful activity came to light.

Reports said a group of enraged students went in a procession to the house of the incharge principal, Mr. Ganesh, in a bid to assault him. Sensing trouble, the incharge principal, reportedly left for Hyderabad to inform the higher-ups about the happenings in the school. The students on their way to the mandal office found two teachers and started chasing them. The students, armed with sticks and stones cornered the teachers identified as Prasada Babu and Narsing Rao, and rained blows on them.

The two teachers sustained bleeding injuries and were rescued by the Yellareddi police, who rushed to the spot on hearing about the trouble. The students were asked to go back to the school where the Yellareddi CI, Mr. Mohan Reddy, held enquiry. It was during the questioning that the incident of alleged sexual assault on a couple of students by class X students came to light. Two victims, one studying in class VII and another, who left the school after the harassment by the seniors, poured out their humiliating experience to the police officer.

One of them reportedly said he was sexually assaulted repeatedly by seniors. He went on to add that some senior students, who had committed the act, had left the school on completion of their studies. He alleged that there were many other students who were suffering silently due to the fear of intimidation. The students, named a number of seniors, who were involved in the incident and added that at least three teachers were backing them to settle scores with the rival teachers.

Reliable sources said that the ugly happenings were going on for the last six months. The first time the issue came to light, some teachers tried to set right the things but faced stiff resistance. Some parents learning about the crime perpetrated on their children withdrew them. The principal of the school was also threatened by the teachers for having dared to complain to the senior officials in Hyderabad. The principal, unable to bear the threat, went on leave. The incharge principal, also was threatened in the same manner.

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