COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamizhi on Sunday met the parents of the Class 12 girl who committed suicide because of alleged sexual harassment by a teacher in Coimbatore.
“A mother has lost her daughter. As a parent of a girl child, I can relate to her state of mind,” the minister told reporters after meeting the parents.
Noting that such incidents are a big blow to the government’s efforts to get more girl students to attend schools, Poyyamozhi said private school students and teachers will be educated on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act.
“It was offered in government schools and it will now be extended to private schools’’ he said.
The minister said that there was no delay on the part of police in acting against the perpetrators. Within 24 hours, the accused was booked under Pocso act and subsequently arrested. The principal too has been arrested and booked under Pocso act, he said.
He said police are verifying the purported letter from the victim which is making round in the social media. While it is an unsigned letter, police are trying to ascertain if it was written by the victim, said the minister when asked about the steps taken against two more persons mentioned in the letter.
Poyyamizhi asked school students to call 14417 toll free helpline for any issues or complaints and not resort to suicide. Trained staff have been deputed to assist students who want to share grievances which they don’t find comfortable sharing with parents, teachers and or friends.
(The survivor’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)

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