Budhanilkantha SCHOOL sex scandal : Board members, scout teacher face interrogation

Kathmandu, July 12:

Following the reports of sexual abuse, the Central Child Welfare Board has called members of Budhanilkantha School management board as well as scout teacher Badri Gautam for interrogation tomorrow.

A team of six organisations, comprising CWIN, Children Women in Social Service and Human Rights, LUNIBHA, the child protection unit of the National Human Rights Commission, Informal Sector Service Centre and CCWB, approached the school after the reports of sexual abuse on July 6.

CCWB executive director Dharma Raj Shrestha said preliminary questioning of the students and school employees did not help establish evidence of abuse by Gautam.

“Students, especially girls, were reluctant to open up and speak against Gautam.”

Only three male students opened up to the team, alleging Gautam had abused them in the dining hall and the classroom, said Pradip Dangol, a CWISH programme officer and member of the interrogation team.

The school management also handed over three complaint letters to the team, each

pointed out Gautam’s alleged abuses.

“Principal Narayan Sharma told us that other complaint letters posted in the complaint box were disposed of as the contents were similar,” said Dangol.

During the preliminary interrogation, the team said they discovered Gautam had let students sleep in his room. “Gautam denied all the allegations and said though he let a homesick student in his room, he was attending a patient at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital during that time. However, his statement contradicted those of other staffers at the school,” Dangol said.

The team questioned principal Narayan Sharma, Gautam and three students. As part of disciplinary action, the school has denied Gautam a promotion for two years and placed him under the observation for a year. He was ordered to maintain physical distance from the students.

“Most students here are reluctant to open up against the school management and Gautam,” Dangol said.