Raped 12-year-old banned from school in India as attendance ‘may hamper the studies of other students’

Published: March 4, 2013

VANCOUVER DESI

Bhopal schoolchildren

Schoolchildren walk past a statue in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in this 2009 file photo. In the state’s Jhabua district, a 12-year-old student has reportedly been barred from attending school after being raped. Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images

A 12-year-old girl who was raped has been banned from attending classes in her school, reports the Hindustan Times.

She has been ostracized by school authorities, the Indian newspaper said.

The tribal girl from Jhabua in India’s Madhya Pradesh state was barred from attending regular classes at her school and evicted from the hostel for “vitiating the school’s atmosphere.”

Although school principal  Yogendra Prasad denied making the remark, he admitted to barring the girl from the school.

“I never said (she was) vitiating the environment. I thought since rape is a serious issue here amongst tribals, it may hamper the studies of other students.”

Prasad also assured that neither the victim nor her friend, who was also instructed to stay away, will be exempted from taking their exams.

The girl, from a village in Jhabua district, was locked up and raped repeatedly for three days in February 2012 by a teenager. Even as she was trying to come to terms with the incident, the Class 9 student was barred from entering the government school where she was studying.

“I want to attend classes but the schools say I can only sit for exams that start on March 7,” the victim said.

Worried about his daughter’s education, the victim’s father appealed to the principal not to bar her from classes.

“I don’t want any dispute. I just want my daughter to attend school.”

The father said the school had issued similar instructions to a friend of his daughter. According to police the girl’s friend may have had a role in the rape, as the accused was her friend.

The case comes as India struggles with a cultural crisis after a young woman was gang raped on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012 and later died. The incident, which garnered headlines across the globe, unleashed a wave of protests over the treatment of women and children in Indian society and calls for the death penalty for rapists.

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