On November 13, Coimbatore city police booked the principal Meera Jackson of Chinmaya Vidyalaya located in RS Puram under section 21 (Punishment for failure to report or record a case) of the POCSO Act. The arrest was made in connection to the case of suicide of a Class XI student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Physics teacher identified as 31-year-old K Mithun Chakravarthy. He was arrested on the night of November 12. Police said there is a possibility he had assaulted other students as well.
Chakravarthy has been booked under IPC 306 (abetment of suicide) and Section 9 (L) (whoever commits sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly) read with 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In a statement, the All Women Police (West) stated that the 17-year-old girl was studying in Class XI of the school. The teacher K Mithun Chakravarthy had sexually assaulted her. On November 11, she was found dead at her house located in Ukkadam. Reports suggest that the teacher allegedly assaulted her sexually on several occasions in March this year during special classes. The student had approached the school management to complain against the teacher. While the school management told the cops they took action against the teacher and arranged counselling for the girl, the deceased’s father said that the school didn’t take any action.
The girl had repeatedly asked the parents to change her school but never told the reason. Two months ago, the family finally obtained a Transfer Certificate from the school and enrolled her at the Corporation School in RS Puram. As per the reports, before taking the extreme step, she had called one of her friends at around 4:45 PM and told him about the stress she had been going through. At around 7 PM, he visited her house to inform her parents about the call. However, by then, she had committed suicide.
In a note left behind by the deceased, she mentioned two names apart from the teacher who had sexually assaulted her. The police also retrieved an audio clip and chats from her phone. The audio clip is said to be a conversation between the victim and the accused that got leaked over the internet as well.
Details of the chats and the audio clip
As per the report published in The News Minute, the six-minute call recording and screenshots of alleged WhatsApp chats reveal details about the abuse she had faced. In the audio clip, the man, who is believed to be the accused, tried to emotionally blackmail the girl. He alleged that the incident was the only “slip up” he had in his career of eight years as a teacher. He told the victim to talk to her seniors and ask them if he ever did something like that. He said, “I have had eight years of experience as a teacher. In all these years, it has never happened. Ask your seniors [if I have misbehaved]. The only time I slipped up is in your case. It was completely accidental. It won’t happen again.”
The man further accused the victim of hurting him “with the choice of words”. The victim told him that he was unable to see things from her perspective, to which he replied that “virginity is not only for girls but also for boys.” He alleged he could not sleep peacefully since the incident. When the student told him she would approach management, the man accused her of “ruining everything”.
The report suggests the screenshots of the conversations revealed she was feeling helpless as she could not avoid the teacher. She said, “Everyone will not know how to stop a teacher. You cannot take that for granted.”
In the audio conversation, the man had questioned the victim if he had disturbed her after the incident. “Everything was over that night [sic]. After that, did I disturb you in any way? I had given you my word that I would not keep your number. When you called, I didn’t even have your number. I had deleted your number,” he said.
Parents say she was suffering from emotional trauma
The victim’s parents said in a statement that she was suffering from a lot of emotional trauma. In the chats, she said, “If you want me to leave this issue, please leave the school. It is the greatest help you can do for me.”
The victim’s mother said in a statement that she allegedly faced sexual abuse for six months. She repeatedly asked them to change her school but never revealed the reason. She further added that the girl had approached the principal to complain about the incident. The principal allegedly asked her not to tell the parents and arranged counselling in the school. During counselling, she was allegedly asked to take the assault lightly and to “brush it off”. In September, the parents got the TC. The teacher also left school in the same month on medical grounds.
A friend of the victim said Chakravarthy befriended her over phone chats. She further added he had dropped the victim at her home once. The friend said, “He sexually assaulted her once in school and harassed her many times.” Mithun’s wife teaches in the same school. The friend alleged she and the principal knew about the assault but did not take any action. The school allegedly blamed the victim as “she allowed him to drop her home”.
The school administration has denied knowledge of any incident and alleged the parents of the victim had cited financial reasons for changing the schools.