Nepal | August 14, 2020

Guardians offer to get teacher booked

Ujjwal Satyal
Share Now:

Kathmandu, February 18

The Guardian Association of Nepal has volunteered to lodge a police complaint against a community school teacher accused of sexually molesting 26 girls of grades III, IV and V if the school management continues to remain tight-lipped on the issue.

The umbrella organisation of parents and guardians of schoolchildren had conducted its own investigation for two days after THT reported the case about sexual molestation on the premises of Shree Narayan Basic School in Mahalaxmi Municipality of Lalitpur. THT’s report was based on a letter written jointly by 26 students to the school principal. In the letter, 26 girls had accused Nanda Prasad Niraula, the 55-year-old social studies teacher at the school, of molesting them.

This image shows the building of Shree Narayan Vasic school in Mahalaxmi Municipality, Lalitpur district, on February 17, 2020. Photo Ujjwal Satyal/THT

“We’ve interviewed over 18 girls and it appears the exploitation was more severe than explained in the letter,” said GAN Senior Vice-chair Subash Bhandari. “This is a serious case. The teacher should not go unpunished. If the school management committee fails to take up the case, we’ll file the first information report on our own.”

The GAN is of the view that school administration or school management committee should lodge the FIR as the girls’ letter is addressed to the principal. But both the administration and the committee appear indifferent towards this issue.

“We’ll first investigate the case internally before going to police,” said Nakul Thapa, a member of the school management committee and also the ward chair. When asked how long it would take to complete the investigation, he said, “We are working closely on this case. That’s all I can say for now.”

School Principal Sabita Silwal, on the other hand, has been asked to stay away from the case. “My hands are tied as I’ve been told not to interfere in this case,” she said.

GAN suspects this is the school management committee’s ploy to “dismiss the case by meting out lenient punishment to Niraula, such as expulsion from school, rather than taking legal action”.

Faced with this situation, the GAN is trying to convince parents of girls, who were molested, to formally lodge a police complaint. “The case will be stronger if parents take the lead,” said Bhandari. “But most of the parents are uneducated and daily labourers and feel uncomfortable dealing with legal issues.”

Police, meanwhile, have said they cannot formally probe the case on their own unless an FIR is filed as the victims are minors.

The girls, who have accused Niraula of sexual molestation, are aged nine to 13. They have accused Niraula of sitting very close to them and caressing their bodies, especially their chest and legs. They have also accused Niraula of shutting the doors and windows of classrooms before committing the heinous crime, according to GAN member Mina Pathak, who had interviewed the girls. “Niraula would then warn the girls not to tell others about what happened in the classroom,” said Pathak, adding, “He also invited the girls to his residence but nobody visited his home.”

This is not the first time Niraula has faced such allegations. He was transferred from two schools in Patan and Lakuri Bhanjyang after facing similar accusations, according to school principal Silwal.

A version of this article appears in print on February 19, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Pandemic and State: How is state accountable?

COVID-19 Global Lens The COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with a huge challenge: everyone and every area is affected, and the response has to be both quick and consorted. This pandemic may be primarily a health crisis for some states, but COVID-19 is also an education crisis, an employment an Read More...

Female inmates of Nepalgunj prison sent to Bardiya and Dailekh

NEPALGUNJ, AUGUST 12 Following the confirmation of COVID-19 in some inmates, Nepalgunj prison administration in Banke has shifted its female inmates to other districts. At a time when concerns are being heard about the number of inmates exceeding the capacity of the prison, the prison administ Read More...

Great Perseid meteor shower is here but will the weather play a spoilsport?

KATHMANDU: Not only did the weather play a spoilsport during the great celestial show, as Perseid meteor showers were on peak, this year the moon phase (last quarter) too hindered enthusiasts from enjoying it as it impeded view of the shower peak. Considered one of the best meteor showers of the Read More...

China high-speed rail

China plans to expand railway network to 200,000 km before 2035

BEIJING: China plans to expand its railway network, the second largest in the world, by one-third in the next decade and a half, as part of a long-term plan to rev up urbanisation and stimulate local economies. China aims to have about 200,000 kilometres (124,274 miles) of railway tracks by the e Read More...

Civil Aviation Ministry preparing for fifth phase of repatriation

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 12 As the reopening date of flights has been postponed by the Cabinet meeting held on Monday, the government has also announced that it will conduct fifth phase of repatriation flights. Based on the government’s announcement, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Read More...

Ola rolls out Infinix Note 7 in Nepal

KATHMANDU: Infinix, a premium online-driven smartphone brand designed for the young generation has launched the much-anticipated Note 7 series. The Infinix Note 7 comes with 48MP QuadCamera, capable of shooting high detailed picture even in low light, MediaTek Helio G70 chipset and 6.95- inch HD+ Read More...

Over Rs 2.22bn budget frozen in Lamjung

LAMJUNG: More than Rs 2.22 billion of the total budget allocated by the federal government and Gandaki Province government to Lamjung district for the fiscal year 2076/77 BS has remained unused. The district received a budget of Rs 8.91 billion from the central and the provincial governments, acc Read More...

Oli, Dahal meet in Baluwatar after over a week long hiatus

KATHMANDU: Ruling Nepal Communist Party  (NCP) co-chairs Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal held talks today after over a week long hiatus at the former's official residence in Baluwatar. The meeting that looks to bring the current stalemate within the party resumed after a gap Read More...