After a 16-year-old student was allegedly raped by four fellow students in a boarding school in Dehradun, school officials tried to force her to have an abortion when they found out she was pregnant.
The alleged crime was perpetrated by four students on August 14, but came to light on September 16 after Dehradun's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nivedita Kureti was tipped off, Hindustan Times reported today.
Instead of informing the police, school officials tried to conceal the crime for over a month, according to reports. The school's director, principal, administration officer, his wife and hostel caretaker have been arrested for alleged destruction of evidence.
The school authorities had threatened to expel the teenager out if she told anyone, including her sister, who is in the same boarding school, and parents, who live in Delhi.
"The girl says she reported the case to the ayah the same day. But they tried to dissuade her to report. After a month, the crime has come to the knowledge of police," Additional Director General of Police Ashok Kumar told NDTV.
HT reported that school officials gave her home-made solutions to drink instead of informing the police. The Indian Express reported that school officials gave her "home remedies to terminate the pregnancy," which resulted in her getting her a severe stomach ache.
Citing a source, The Times of India reported, "Two of the school officials posed as the girl's parents to avoid suspicion. They also insisted the doctor give her abortion pills as a quick solution." But when the doctor insisted on a ultrasound to determine if the student was pregnant, the school officials said they would return the next day.
"The police then called her parents to know if they were aware about the abortion. They said they were told by the school administration that she had a stomach ache for which they had taken her to the clinic," Naresh Rathod, the investigating officer, told HT.
The four students who allegedly raped the 16-year-old have been arrested and produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, TOI reported. They have been taken to a juvenile home in Haridwar. The Indian Express reported that one of the alleged rapists is an adult and will be sent to the Dehradun district jail in Sudhowala along with the other five other adults in the case.
The alleged rapists warned the teenager to no tell anyone about the incident. "The boy who had called her out joined the three boys in the gangrape while warning the victim that she should tell no one about the incident or she will be defamed," Usha Negi, chairperson of Uttarakhand's Child Rights Protection Commission, toldThe Indian Express.
It was after she skipped her monthly period did the teenager suspect that she might be pregnant. Negi told the newspaper that school authorities blamed the girl and threatened to expel her if she told anyone that she was pregnant.
"The school director and principal threatened her that they would expel her from the school if she told anyone about the rape or the pregnancy. She was strictly ordered that her parents and her younger sister, who is a student in the same school, must not be informed about the rape," Negi said.
The teenager's parents, who live in Delhi, reached Dehradun on Monday.