Principal faces sexual harassment charge, attempts suicide

A 12-year-old girl returned home from the school even as classes were on and told her parents that the principal called her in his office and harassed her

The principal of a Surat Municipal Corporation-run school attempted suicide on Wednesday afternoon after he was accused of sexually harassing a few girl students of his school.

Kanti Patel (44) is undergoing treatment at SMIMER hospital and his condition is said to be critical, police said, adding that he consumed poison when he came to know that a mob had gheored the school over the sexual harassment allegations.

As per details, a 12-year-old girl student returned home from the school in the afternoon even as classes were on and told her parents that Patel had called her in his office and harassed her sexually.

Soon, her parents, along with a few others, went to the school in Katargam area to meet the principal. But Patel reportedly did not meet them and left the school. As the parents started shouting slogans against the principal, a mob gathered outside the school.

As the situation turned tense, Katargam police rushed to the spot. They were soon joined by forces from five different police stations in the presence of Deputy Commissioner of Police S K Dave and brought the situation under control.

Later in the day, parents of seven girl students of primary sections accused Patel

of harassing their daughters and lodged a complaint against him with the Katargam police station.

Subsequently, District Primary Education Officer R B Rathod suspended Patel from duty.

Katargam police inspector J T Sonara said, "Parents of seven students of the municipal school have complained that their daughters were sexually harassed by the principal over

the last few days. We have assured the parents that strict action would be taken against the principal. When we started searching for Patel, we found that he had attempted suicide and was admitted to a hospital. We will wait for his recovery before arresting him and recording his statement."

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