34 schoolgirls thrashed by angry mob after they confronted youths for sexual harassment and lewd comments
34 girls studying at the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) at Darpakha under Triveniganj block in Supaul district in the Indian state of Bihar were reportedly beaten up by villagers in an outrageous incident after they allegedly fought back against sexual advances made by some youths on Saturday evening. The enraged mob reportedly vandalized school property as they stormed into the campus.
The said school, which is a residential establishment for girls belonging to marginalized communities from the SC, ST, and OBC classes, said at least 30 girls studying in classes VI to VIII had to be rushed to the Triveniganj referral hospital, per multiple reports.
Speaking to Times of India Sunday, hostel warden Reema said the students were playing on the school campus as usual. “Suddenly, they started screaming and shouting. When the voices got louder, I saw around 15 people, both men and women, thrashing the girls with sticks and rods. I alerted the security guard and called up the local administration. By the time the security guard reached the school campus, they had run away,” she said.
Total 10 people have been arrested in the incident where at least 30 schoolgirls where thrashed for allegedly resisting sexual advances in Supaul: ADG Police HQ SK Singhal #Bihar pic.twitter.com/IAp4sgFMYR— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2018
According to the newspaper, the girls alleged that quite a few youths in Darpakha often harassed them sexually and passed disrespectful comments at them. As soon as the girls objected to their advances, the unabashed youths called their parents and proceeded to beat them up. While students were first rushed to the nearby primary health center before being moved to the referral hospital, two of them had to be taken to Supaul Sadar hospital after their injuries were deemed critical and they required immediate treatment.
In a conversation with the Times of India over the phone, Supaul Superintendent of Police Mrityunjay Kumar Choudhary said, “Nine persons have been named in the complaint. Hari Kumar and Mohan Kumar of Darpakha have been arrested while the other accused are absconding. Four people have been detained for interrogation."
Supreme Court expresses concern over the incident where 34 minor girls in Bihar's Supaul were thrashed for allegedly resisting sexual advances. pic.twitter.com/skUfP0TAhD— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2018
Supaul district magistrate Baidya Nath Yadav narrated the series of events that led up to the mob attack, saying some of the girls confronted a few youths and Middle School students for writing lewd messages on the school wall. “Both the schools (KGBV and Middle School) are on the same campus but have separate buildings and common playground. The girls asked them not to write vulgar messages. The youths later sexually harassed them. The girls beat them up. Later, the boys called their parents from the village and thrashed the girls,” he said.
Supaul District Educational Officer Jagatpati Choudhary said, “Eleven girls are still undergoing treatment at the referral hospital while two are admitted to Sadar hospital. According to doctors, all of them will be discharged soon."
Krishnanandan Prasad Verma, the Bihar education minister, promised appropriate action would be taken against the perpetrators. “To avoid such incidents in future, the department will take steps to ensure the safety of girls in schools, especially residential ones. The department will appoint women constables and security personnel in girls’ schools,” he said.
That said, former deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav jumped at the opportunity to slam Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in a tweet on Sunday: “When the administrator is selfish, citizens’ life becomes a curse! In Bihar, CM is not only selfish but also option-less and confused! On one hand, he is desperate to revive his already dead credibility & on the other hand public is suffering due to rising crime.”