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CPM leader accused of molesting student

HOWRAH: With a senior CPM leader already in the dock over the Tapasi Mallick rape-murder case in Singur, another incident has come to the forefront in which CPM's Munshirhat local committee secretary in Howrah's Jagatballavpur, Basudeb Khotel, has been accused of molesting a five-year-old girl, his student, for over a month.

The incident has occurred just two days after two alleged CPM activists raped a woman and her two daughters in Diamond Harbour.

What's even more shocking, the child repeatedly told her mother and grandmother of her ordeal during the past two weeks but they kept on ignoring her, apparently out of fear of Khotel's political clout.

Her father finally lodged a police complaint on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the child - who was so traumatised that she could barely speak — gave her statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC. She was then sent for a medical test. Khotel initially denied the charges but then "apologised" to the family and the headmaster of the school before he went missing.

The victim, a Class I student, says Khotel - who was her teacher at Ballabhbati Primary School in Jagatballavpur - started physically abusing her about a month ago. During tiffin breaks he would take her to one of the empty classrooms and molest her. He also used to make her stay back after school hours and abuse her. The school is a few metres from the girl's house.

About two weeks ago, the girl told her grandmother about it, but she did not pay much attention. Then, on July 11, she came home during tiffin break and told her mother that she was being molested by her class teacher. But her mother took her back to school. That same evening she broke down on returning home and told her mother that she won't go to school again.

It was only then that the girl's mother told her husband, a railway employee. But instead of going to the police station, he went to the school and met Khotel. The teacher denied the charges. But a little later, Khotel reportedly went to the headmaster Sukumar Dhyang and confessed.

"After the girl's parents went back, he told us everything. I informed the school committee president. In the evening, we went to the girl's parents with him where Khotel apologised to them," said Dhyang.

CPM Howrah district secretary Sridip Bhattacharya said the zonal party committee will probe the matter.
Times of India

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posted by Resistance 7/20/2007 10:00:00 PM,


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