Jind, November 22: In a shocking revelation from Haryana, as many as 142 minor girls studying at a government school in Jind accused the principal of sexually assaulting them over a period of six years, officials said on Wednesday. Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Mohammad Imran Raza, the deputy commissioner of Jind district, said, "A probe committee led by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) has recorded the statements of 390 girls in total and we have forwarded complaints of 142 instances of sexual assault on girls to higher officials of the Education department for further action. Of these 142 girls, the majority accused the principal of sexually assaulting them while the rest said they were witnesses to the horrific acts. The accused principal is currently behind bars,"

Significantly, about 15 girls had earlier written to President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India DY Chadrachud, the National Women's Commission, and the state women's commission, among others, on August 31, on the alleged horrific acts by the principal. On September 13, the Haryana Women's Commission finally took cognisance of the letter and forwarded it to Jind Police for action the day after, on September 14. Haryana Sexual Assault Case: 60 Girl Students of Government School Allege Sexual Assault by Principal.

However, it was alleged that the police dragged their feet in the matter and filed an FIR much later on October 30. The accused was arrested on November 4 and produced before a court on November 7, which remanded the accused principal in judicial custody on November 7.

The state women's commission stated earlier that 60 girls at the government school came forward to record their statements against the principal. However, the number has now risen to 142, officials informed. Weighing in on the case, a legal expert said the district officials, including the police and officials of the Education department, did not act promptly, adding that the POCSO Act, especially sub-sections 19, 20, and 21, stipulate that an FIR has to be registered at the earliest if a sexual harassment against a minor girl is reported.

Activists, too, questioned why it took the police one and a half months to register the FIR against the accused. The deputy commissioner told ANI, "The principal was prima facie found guilty during an investigation conducted by a team of three (district) officials of the rank of sub-divisional magistrate (SDM). Now a chargesheet will be prepared against the accused for his dismissal and denial of perks that come with his job."

The decision on further action against the arrested principal would be taken after the filing of the chargesheet, the deputy commissioner said, adding that Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Harish Vasisth has been deputed for further investigation into the matter. Haryana Shocker: School Principal Accused of Sexually Assaulting 60 Minor Girls Nabbed by SIT in Jind.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of six members led by Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Deepti Garg was formed on November 16 to probe the allegations against the principal. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Shrikant Jadhav directed the probe team to file a report within 10 days and also arrange counselling for the minor girls who were allegedly preyed on by the principal.

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