Likabali school scandal exposes gaps in AP education
DIMAPUR AUGUST 31
Arunachal Pradesh is still recovering from the shocking and grim molestation case of 14 minor girls from Green Valley a private residential school in Likabali under West Siang district, about 130 kilometres from Itanagar the state capital.The victims age 4 to 14 were allegedly being subjected to rape for over a year by the hostel warden Vipin Wisvan and possibly another school teacher.
The two were arrested on August 27th after the victims lodged an FIR with the police.
The investigations of the case have been handed over to the officer in charge of the Women Police Station, Papum Pare district ,under the supervision of the IGP (Central) Garima Bhatnagar.
A team comprising of representatives from the Galo Welfare Society, the Indian Council of Child Welfare (AP) and the National Alliance of Women (AP) visited Likabali in West Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh, on 30th August 2013 to ascertain the progress on the investigation of the unfortunate Green Valley School case where young students of class I to VII have lodged complaint against the school management, headmaster and a particular teacher for sexual abuse of children in the school over the last one plus year.
A press release on the findings of the visit the Chief Advisor of the women’s body Jarjum Ete, states that the first information verbally lodged by a group of 7-8 students to the OC, Likabali police station was not entered in the GD, and the IGP, SP, SP(Security) who are camping in Likabali to monitor the case were not aware about the same. It was also found that a lap top and cds, which the students used to see the main accused use in the school was not recovered by the police as an angry mob had vandalised the school even before the police could swing into action.
The statement further adds that while the initiative of the government has been highly appreciated by all and sundry, the concerned parents also felt that the government schools in the remote villages and circle headquarters need to be revamped, teachers posted, books and furniture and housing facility provided to each school so that poor parents don’t have to send out their little ones so far away from home, for providing them some good foundation.Some of the parents of children who had listed themselves as having been abused were reported to have withdrawn their support for fear of social stigmatisation of the children.
The body of women respresentatives have also appealed to all concerned to stand united and give witnesses and statements to both the police and the magistrate without fail so that the accused does not get away with the crimes he has committed on the little children. The society at large also ought to refrain from mentioning names of children abused even if they know.
The visiting members also noted that loopholes about establishing of private schools, their registration with the Dept of school education, character verification of persons recruited as teachers etc were emphasised by concerned members of the public. It was also alleged that the five teachers in the police lock-up did not have inner line permits also.The statement also suggests the local leaders, women organisation representatives, affected family members and youth be mobilised for the retrieval of the missing lap top as at this stage, it cannot be ruled out that the main accused might have been involved in child pornography also. The release also said that the medical board members had come with limited kits for medical tests and later more students had volunteered for tests. Unfortunately, the doctors had to leave for Itanagar as there were no kits left.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Nabam Tuki is monitoring the case and has placed Rs 10 lakh at the disposal of the West Siang district Deputy Commissioner to assist the victims in medical and legal help.
The school in focus “Green Valley School”has been shut since the news broke out on August 27,2013. Parents too are unwilling to send tehor children back to the school out of fear and shame. This has the district administration in a tizzy as they try to accommodate the 450 odd students in other schools in the middle of a session, to prevent them from losing an academic year.