Children spend more time in schools than anywhere else for most of the year – making it extremely important for school authorities, teachers, and parents to ensure that every child is safe inside the school premises and while commuting to or from school.However, several incidents has raised the questions on the security of the children in schools. Recently, the killing of a 7 year old boy allegedly by a school bus conductor who tried to sexually abuse him has put the spotlight on the safety of children. A study shows half of all children in India have been a victim of sexual abuse.
On 9th September, 2017 the body of a seven-year-old boy was found murdered with his throat slit in his school washroom in Gurugram, Haryana. His father Vinod has approached the Gurugram police to take action against the management of Ryan International School for lax security.
The father had made formal complaint to the Gurugram police commissioner against the school. He had dropped off his child at 7.30 am on Friday morning at the school, but the child was found murdered half an hour later in the school washroom. The police have arrested a bus conductor who is alleged to have tried to sexually assault the child in the school bathroom. The police believe he murdered the child after he resisted, stabbing him twice and then slitting his throat, severing the neck and ear.
After hearing the commotion, AnjuDudeja, a school teacher reached the toilet first and informed others. She along with NeerjaBatra, officiating principal, took the victim in Batra’s car to a private hospital in Badshahpur and after first aid went to Artemis hospital where the boy was declared brought dead.
Police received a call from school authorities around 8am and rushed to the spot along with the crime units.The conductor was sent on a three-day police remand. The Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram Police said that action will be taken against the security agency of the school and a special committee is probing the matter further. Investigators retrieved footage from one of the 16 CCTV cameras in the school, which they said is vital to prove him guilty in the case.
PriyankKanoongo, member (education), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Delhi, reached the school and asked the Gurugram police to include sections under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 in the FIR and book the school staff for negligence.
There should be some kind of mechanism to protect the children from these types of crimes in the school premises as well as from the time they board the school bus and reach school. There should be some guidelines that every school should follow to prevent these kinds of incidents. Children cannot defend themselves, so it is the duty of the law makers, police and judiciary to provide them safety.
JEMTECH, School of Law