Schoolteacher held for sending obscene messages to student

Published - March 15, 2022 05:34 pm IST

The district police on Tuesday arrested a 42-year-old man, who was employed as a teacher at a government school near Dharapuram, on charges of sexually harassing a Class X girl by stalking her and sending obscene text messages.

According to the police, M. Manikandaraja, a native of Gandhi Nagar in Udumalpet, was teaching social science in the government higher secondary school. On Monday evening, the school's headmistress lodged a complaint at the Dharapuram All Women Police Station alleging that the teacher had sent messages with sexual intent to the student over WhatsApp messaging application.

Based on this complaint, the police booked him under section 354D (Stalking) of the Indian Penal Code, sections 11 (Sexual harassment) and 12 (Punishment for sexual harassment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and section 67B (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

The Dharapuram All Women Police arrested Manikandaraja on Tuesday and sent him to remand under judicial custody.

Sources in the Department of School Education said on Tuesday that the headmistress of the government higher secondary school came to know about the incident through the classmates of the victim, following which she lodged a complaint to the police as well as to the Childline helpline 1098. The accused teacher had been working in the school for over six years and has been suspended following his arrest, the sources said, adding that whether he had sent similar obscene messages to other girl students in the past was not immediately clear.

When contacted, Chief Educational Officer for Tiruppur district R. Ramesh said that he will initiate further action based on the police's report in this case.

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