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Mob violence following sting operation

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AGITATED: A mob throws stones at the police after a TV report on alleged blackmailing of girl students by a teacher, in New Delhi on Thursday.
AGITATED: A mob throws stones at the police after a TV report on alleged blackmailing of girl students by a teacher, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

News channel broadcast shows woman teacher allegedly pushing students into prostitution

NEW DELHI: An angry mob went on the rampage at Turkman Gate here on Thursday damaging over two dozen vehicles and torching a police gypsy after a Hindi television news channel broadcast a sting operation showing a woman teacher with the Asaf Ali Road branch of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya allegedly pushing students into prostitution. Some police officers and over a dozen people were injured in the stone pelting.

Trouble erupted around 10.30 a.m. when a media team reached the school and began reporting about the sting operation. Soon after news about involvement of one of the teachers, Uma Khurana, in a prostitution racket spread, parents accompanied by area residents started gathering outside the school shouting slogans against the teacher, who was taking a class inside.

While the students were allowed to leave the school premises, the teachers locked themselves up in a room. Angry residents including some local politicians forced their way inside and vandalised the school. In the meantime, a large posse of policemen reached the spot along with senior police officers to contain the situation.

While Uma was being whisked away in a police van, the mob pelted stones at the vehicle.

Vehicles damaged

Demanding that the teacher be handed over to them, the residents hurled stones at the police, injuring at least two Assistant Commissioners of Police and ten others. They smashed the windscreen of a Blueline bus and damaged several vehicles parked in front of the Delhi Stock Exchange building. The mob also targeted three police vehicles, setting one of them ablaze. The police lobbed tear-gas shells and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob. But the miscreants escaped into the narrow lanes and returned armed with stones. It took the police over three hours to bring the situation under control.

It was only after the police assured the residents of stringent action against the teacher that they finally dispersed and peace was restored.

Stating that 18 people had been arrested for indulging in violence, Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern Range) P.R. Meena said a case would be registered against the mathematics teacher on the basis of the sting operation. In the operation, she was purportedly shown pushing a student into prostitution. It is alleged that the teacher used to blackmail girl students by filming them in a compromising position after drugging them and pushed them into the flesh trade.

A couple of students of the Asaf Ali Road branch of the school had also reportedly complained against her alleging that she passed some lewd remarks against them.

Later on Thursday, Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said a two-member team comprising two Deputy Directors, Ritu Marwah and Neelam Verma, was sent to the school to enquire into the matter. Subsequently, the mathematics teacher was placed under suspension.

“I have directed Secretary Education Rina Rai to submit a report on the background of the teacher within two days,” said Mr. Lovely. Mr. Lovely said he has also asked the police to hand over investigations in the matter to the Crime Branch.

Enquiries so far have revealed that Uma had joined a Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run school as a teacher in November 1987 and was promoted in 1994. She joined the Asaf Ali Road branch about two months ago.

She was earlier posted at its Vivek Vihar branch where she was suspended for poor performance.

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