Kerala

School teacher booked for third time on charge of sexual abuse

In a disturbing turn of events, a Government primary school teacher from the district was caught for sexually abusing children three times in the last 10 years.

While he was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act twice, his first offence had taken place before the POCSO Act came into being.

The parents of the children who had become the victims of A.K. Ashraf’s sexual perversion said he should not be allowed to interact with students anymore. When Ashraf was booked by the police at Tanur and sent to jail on November 18, many in the State were baffled at the inability of the Education Department to stop a paedophile from repeating his acts of sexual perversion.

A physically challenged man, Ashraf was first booked for abusing dozens of boys in 2012 in a case registered at the Parappanangadi police station under IPC 377 and Juvenile Justice Act Section 25. Although he was suspended from service for five years, a court exonerated him for want of evidence. He had reportedly influenced his victims and their parents who turned hostile in court, leading to his acquittal.

In 2019, Ashraf was booked under the POCSO Act for aggravated offence against his children. The case filed at the Karipur police station was still pending trial. After the suspension that followed the arrest and initial jailing, Ashraf rejoined service again. It is learnt that his influence in the teacher association as well as his physical disability had worked in his favour.

Soon after he joined a school near Tanur, he was booked again under the POCSO Act following complaints by several students against his sexual misconduct. He was arrested and remanded on November 18. The school headmaster said he had not been alerted by anyone about Ashraf’s criminal history when he joined the school.

As parents stand baffled at a system that allowed a sexual predator to go unchecked for years, the agencies that work for the rights of children throw up their hands as well. “This happened because of a lack of proper policy in our State. It is time that our Education Department gave a serious thought about it,” Anwar Karakkadan, Childline coordinator of Malappuram district, told The Hindu.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:07:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/school-teacher-booked-for-third-time-on-charge-of-sexual-abuse/article37730915.ece

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