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Two suspended over molestation of tribal girl in Odisha’s Keonjhar

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(Left) Accused headmaster Arjun Kumar Mohanta

Keonjhar: The District Collector of Odisha’s Keonjhar today placed two officials, including a school headmaster, under suspension over molestation of a tribal girl studying in a residential school here.

The headmaster of Kanjipani Ashram School Arjun Charan Mohanta and Block Welfare Extension Officer Narahari Patra have been suspended based on an enquiry report submitted by a two-member team.

Following much hue and cry, the District Collector Ashish Thakare directed District Welfare Officer Pradyumna Kumar Das and District Child Protection Officer Debangana Barik to investigate into the matter. Based on the report, the two officials have been placed under suspension.

An official on condition of anonymity said that Narahari Patra has been suspended for late reporting of the sensitive matter to the higher officials.

Worth mentioning, the accused teacher was arrested by Kanjipani police yesterday after the girl’s family registered an FIR against him for alleged sexual harassment.

The Class VI girl had informed her family that Mohanta touched her inappropriately when she was alone and misbehaved with her. There were other girls in the hostel who also faced similar situations at the hands of Mohanta.

When the students reported the matter to the teachers, they were reportedly asked to keep quiet and not report the matter to their families. Furthermore, when the issue was brought to the notice of the Block Welfare Extension Officer Narahari Patra, he too was lax in initiating any action against the erring official.