Mumbai: At least 40 people, including policemen and media persons, were on Sunday injured when a protest by some parents against alleged molestation of girl students at a school in Yavatmal turned violent and police resorted to lathi-charge.
The protesting parents were demanding arrest of Kishor Darda, Chairman of YPS School Committee, which runs Yavatmal Public School, which is at the centre of the controversy.
To push their demand, the parents had assembled in front of Darda’s residence this morning. The protest turned violent when they resorted to stone pelting targeting the policemen.
Police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the angry parents.
Around 15 police personnel sustained injuries in the stone pelting, Devidas Dhole, Police Station Officer, Wadgaon Road Police Station, said.
Twenty-five people were injured in the police action, said an official from State Control Room in Mumbai. Two media persons are said to be among the injured.
Sanjeevkumar Singhal, Special Police Commissioner of Amravati Region (under which Yavatmal falls), visited the area and took stock of the situation.
Yavatmal Public School’s principal Jacob Das was arrested on Friday under Section 21 (failure to report an offence) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, said Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar Singh.
Two teachers of the school – Yash Borundia and Amol Shirsagar – were arrested three days earlier in the case. The arrests were made after parents of about a dozen students lodged a joint complaint alleging the two molested girls in the KG and primary classes.
The parents are now demanding the arrest of Kishor Darda.
Tension prevailed in the area and SRPF personnel were deployed to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir met some of the injured at the hospital. The Lok Sabha MP from Chandrapur blamed the Yavatmal SP for the situation going out of control.
Ahir, who met the parents, demanded a high-level probe into police “mishandling” of the molestation episode.
Ahir said he has briefed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the situation and demands of the parents, who want the government to appoint an administrator to run the school.
Fadnavis has asked the Director of School Education to examine the possibility of appointing an administrator, he said.
Meanwhile, a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission, Neeta Thakre, visited the city and recorded the statements of over 70 parents.