Instructor arrested for molesting scholar 23 years in the past

Kolkata, October 16

A 37-year-old woman has managed to put her “molester” behind bars 23 long years after the alleged abuse, having found out that the accused continues to sexually prey on children.

The woman, now a well-settled lawyer in Hong Kong, had filed a complaint in 2019 against her private tutor, who, she alleged, had molested her at her Darjeeling home when she was 14. The accused, in his late 40s, was arrested earlier this month in Siliguri.

“Long way to go, this is just a small victory. The culprit’s bail application recently got rejected and I am thankful that the police have made a strong case against him,” she told PTI from Hong Kong.

Asked what took her more than two decades to come forward and lodge a complaint, the woman said she was “scared and confused” and had no knowledge how to cope with her trauma, she said.

“It can be really difficult to come forward with details of sexual assault and molestation, especially after burying it in some corner of the mind. I decided to file a complaint after I found out that the accused, a teacher in Siliguri, continues to sexually abuse kids,” she said.

The lawyer maintained that she still struggled to talk about her experience.

“The abuse had spanned for a month, and the nightmare haunts me to date. I want to stop other kids from going through the trauma,” she said.

Darjeeling deputy SP (Town) Rahul Pandey said the police had swung into action immediately after receiving the complaint, and arrested the accused, a school teacher in Siliguri, earlier in October.

“We have got proper evidence against this person. There are at least four victims we have spoken to and got hold of circumstantial evidence. The accused, who teaches chemistry, has been moving from one school to another. In the last 20 years, he has changed at least five schools,” Pandey said, adding that he has been remanded in judicial custody till October 23.

The quadragenarian “admitted to his crime”, when evidence was produced before him, the SP claimed.

He has been booked under various sections of the IPC for outraging modesty, criminal intimidation and word, gesture or act intended to insult modesty of a woman, the police officer said. PTI

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