A Muslim teacher has been arrested for sexually harassing the girls. Habeeb, a science teacher in Pallivasal (mosque) Higher Secondary (government aided) school, is accused of harassing the students through WhatsApp in the pretext of taking online classes. He was arrested after an audio recording of his utterances went viral on social media.
Habeeb has been working in this Muslim school for the past nine years. As per some news reports, he had been harassing the students through WhatsApp after obtaining their individual numbers under the pretext of conducting online classes. The parents of a girl student of Claxx IX, one of his victims, filed a complaint against him.
In the recorded audio of the call which went viral on social media, the Muslim teacher asks the girl to come over to his house when her parents are away. He says that many girls have come to his house and submitted to his demands and that he helped them pass with flying colours.
He threatens the girl that he would fail her if she were not to show up. He speaks suggestively, using phrases like “sexual desires shouldn’t be pent up”, “sexual needs must be satiated immediately”, “I will teach you the lessons I couldn’t teach in the classroom” and asks them to make video calls when their parents were away.
After this girl’s ordeal was known, other girls have complained of sexual harassment at the hands of Habeeb. Many girls, fearing what might befall them if they revealed the truth, wanted to move to a different school to escape his harassment.
There have been many such complaints in the past, but the school brushed them under the carpet. Some government officials are allegedly complicit with the school management; they do not take action on such complaints.
A website reported that Habeeb had sexually abused a girl two years ago in the school premises. When the girl’s parents raised the issue with the school management, they restrained the parents from going to the police, saying it would affect the future of the girl.
As an eyewash, they took disciplinary action against Habeeb by suspending him for a few days and took him back again. So far, 15 girls have come forward to lodge complaints on Habeeb. However, it’s suspected that more than 25 girls in the current batch have been victims of his abuse. He has been booked under POCSO and the Juvenile Justice Act.
Neither the name of the school nor of the teacher were revealed in the initial media reports. The media has met the news of the outrage with deafening silence in stark contrast to how they maligned the names of institutions like Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Sushil Hari, Maharishi Vidya Mandir and Chettinad Vidyashram for the crimes of a few individuals. A witch-hunt on some of these schools continues while complaints against Christian and Muslim school teachers pile up away from the media glare.