In October, the father of a minor Hindu boy, accompanied by hundreds of Hindu activists, took to the streets in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Alleging that a 35-year-old teacher at Saint Aloysius School had engaged in a prolonged romantic relationship with his 15-year-old son on various social media platforms, the father claimed that the teacher went to extremes by accompanying the boy to church and even cutting his choti, a culturally significant practice for Brahmins. The teacher was accused of ensnaring the boy in a deceptive web of false affection and other troubling behaviours.
Following the revelation of this incident, the entire school applied pressure on the family to retract their protest, resorting to baseless allegations against both the minor and his father regarding their characters. Despite the police acknowledging the situation and initiating investigations, no official complaint was lodged.
Consequently, the minor was compelled to stay home after his identity was openly disclosed by the school in the media. He was also withdrawn from school, as his father refused to abandon the protest and the complaint against the implicated teacher.
On December 26, Organiser contacted the victim’s father, who revealed that despite a court order mandating the registration of an FIR, the police had yet to take any action in the case. Before delving into the legal proceedings, let’s recount the events that transpired in October.
Kalawa and tilak
The 15-year-old student attended St. Aloysius School in Kanpur since nursery, but prior to October, significant changes in his behaviour at home became evident. Notably, he ceased wearing the kalawa and tilak, removed his rakhi, and expressed discomfort with the sound of the puja ghanti during the arti performed by his mother. Additionally, he mentioned that his choti had been accidentally cut by the barber almost four months earlier.
On October 16, members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organised a sizable protest outside the school. The boy’s father tirelessly sought action, prompting activists to demand the immediate suspension of the teacher. They conducted a rally and a four-hour sit-in protest in front of the school, accompanied by fervent slogans.
Following the protest, school authorities engaged with ABVP representatives, allowing a team from the activist group to visit the premises. On October 18, Organiser contacted Anshul Vidyarthi, the Prant Sangathan Mantri of ABVP. He reported that the team discovered Hindu students were barred from wearing kalawa and applying tilak on campus. Additionally, chapters about revolutionary figures who sacrificed their lives for the nation in students’ books were marked with a cross, with teachers claiming it was beyond the syllabus.
Vidyarthi emphasised that the school not only restricted students from using standard NCERT books but also hindered their study of important revolutionaries. In response to the protest, ABVP members submitted a memorandum to the police, urging an inspection of the school and demanding stringent action.
Despite these efforts, no satisfactory action followed the protest, as the implicated teacher continued to serve at the school and reside in the quarters provided by the institution.
On October 18, Organiser interviewed Akhilesh Shukla, the father of the minor boy. Here are key excerpts from their conversation:
Recalling the incident, Shukla revealed that on September 28, he discovered his son engaging in a chat on his mobile phone. Upon scrolling through the conversation, he encountered vulgar and obscene pictures of a woman. When questioned, his son confessed that the woman was his teacher, identified as Olive Rohit.
Shukla, shocked by this revelation, delved deeper into the matter. His son disclosed being infatuated with a 35-year-old Christian woman who was already married. Upon reading the chats, which included expressions like “I miss you, I hug you,” Shukla realised that the minor was being groomed by the woman to undergo a conversion to Christianity. Taking the phone from his son, Shukla approached the school on October 1 and informed the principal, presenting some screenshots. However, the principal defended the teacher, suggesting her phone might have been hacked or the boy created a fake account to defame her.
Receiving no assistance, Shukla turned to the police station, but no official report was lodged. The police assured further investigation.
Shukla highlighted that since involving the police, contacting activists, and gaining media attention, the school authorities exerted pressure and issued threats to coerce him into withdrawing the case. They even publicised his and his minor child’s names in the media, leading to the child experiencing depression. The principal alleged that Shukla’s son engaged in alcohol consumption and other undesirable behaviours, contrary to his previous well-behaved reputation.
Fake love trap
Sharing a copy of the complaint letter, Shukla expressed concerns, emphasising the impact on his son’s academic year and future. He questioned the justification for a 35-year-old teacher engaging in a relationship with a 15-year-old boy, labelling it a deliberate act with malicious intent aimed at conversion.
In the detailed complaint shared with Organiser, Shukla outlined how teacher Olive, along with her husband Rohit and brother Lokesh, issued threats. He accused the school authorities of publicising their names, jeopardising his son’s future.
Meanwhile, the school’s principal, Father D Silva, vehemently denied all accusations against the teacher and himself, asserting that it was a deliberate attempt to tarnish their reputations. Father D Silva questioned specific details, such as the alleged cutting of the boy’s choti and the timing of the teacher’s conversations with him.
No action in months
On December 26, when Organiser reached out to Shukla, he had just returned from the court, expressing frustration that no progress had been made in the case. He revealed that his son is currently confined to sitting at home during a crucial year, as it is the year of his tenth board exams. Shukla lamented that no other schools are accepting admissions for his son because, in order to take board exams, one must study class 9 in the same school. Regarding St. Aloysius, he asserted that sending his son there would be perilous, claiming that the school might pose a threat to his son’s life.
Shukla mentioned that, despite formally filing an FIR after his court application, there has been no resolution to the situation. He expressed dissatisfaction as the accused teacher continues to work at the school, and they are being enticed to withdraw their complaint. To support his statements, Shukla shared a copy of the FIR and the court order.
POCSO Act imposed
As per the court order numbered 4373/2023, dated November 7, 2023, the district judge at the Kanpur Nagar bench mandated the registration of an FIR, acknowledging the matter under section 156(3) of the CrPC. The court specifically noted that the local media had disclosed the identity of the minor along with the implicated school staff.
Subsequent to the court’s directive, the police formally recorded an FIR (number 83/2023) at the Chhawni police station in the Kanpur Nagar district on November 16, 2023.
In his formal complaint, Shukla asserted that his minor son had been enticed into converting to Christianity through a romantic relationship orchestrated by the teacher, Olive Rohit. Shukla became aware of this when he accidentally discovered his son chatting with her. Upon approaching the school authorities with this information, they allegedly applied pressure on the minor and his family to retract their complaint. The teacher, along with her brother and husband, purportedly issued threats against them.
Shukla further alleged that the school was actively enticing students from diverse religious backgrounds into converting to Christianity. Additionally, he claimed that the school deliberately exposed the minor’s name in the media to defame the family and exert pressure on them. Despite reaching out to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on October 5 and the Chhawni police on October 17, no action was taken in the matter.
Based on the filed complaint, the police have charged all the accused, including the school principal, teacher Olive Rohit, her husband Rohit, and brother Lokesh. The charges encompass sections 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, along with sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, and sections 9, 10, and 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
A Brahmin’s plight
Despite the passage of several months since the registration of the FIR, Shukla expressed dissatisfaction, stating that the police have not even recorded the minor’s statement under section 164 of the CrPC, let alone taking any further action. Notably, Teacher Olive Rohit continues to work at the school, while Shukla’s son is compelled to remain at home.
Shukla shared additional screenshots of conversations between his son and the teacher, as well as other posts on social media where their identities are being openly disclosed. He voiced frustration, saying, “As a normal shopkeeper, how long am I supposed to run from office to office in search of justice? The teacher and school authorities seem indifferent to the fact that my son’s future is at stake.”
He asserted that the perceived inaction in this case is influenced by his Brahman identity, claiming, “If not provided with legal recourse, I am left with no choice but to contemplate suicide with my family,” concluding his statement on a distressing note.