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‘Raped’ after being drugged, was in 6th grade then — what Punjab principal’s ‘assault’ victim says

A Punjab woman has accused Amritpal Dhiman, principal of SD National School in Nangran Kalmot and Passiwal villages, of rape, after videos of his alleged assaults were leaked online.

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New Delhi: On 16 February, a 26-year-old woman in Punjab’s Nangal town woke up to a horrifying WhatsApp forward — a 12-year-old video of her school principal allegedly raping her as a teen.

It was one among over 190 incriminating videos and photos of Amritpal Dhiman, principal of SD National School in Nangran Kalmot and Passiwal villages (near Nangal in Rupnagar district), who has been accused of sexually assaulting three minor girls in a controversial case.

The woman cited above is one of the three alleged victims of the horrific abuse as seen in the visuals from 2010, which were leaked online on 15 February.

Speaking to ThePrint about the alleged abuse, she said: “It used to happen during school hours. I was in the sixth grade back then. The vice principal of the school used to take us to the principal’s office. He used to drug us. I don’t remember what he used to do because I was always under the influence of drugs.”

According to her, the drug used to be administered with water or a beverage.

The victim, who studied in the Passiwal school till class 10, alleged that she was raped on at least 3-4 different occasions. However, she never informed her parents about the same. She requested that the name of the village where lives now not be named in the report.

The victim has recorded a statement under section 164 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure in front of a judicial magistrate in Nangal.

The investigating officer, Assistant Sub-Inspector Navdeep Kaur said the victim didn’t accuse the vice principal in her statement to the police. However, the police will look into the allegations, said Kaur. 

The police is probing the case based on an FIR filed by Ashwani Kumar, a member of the social activist group Bhim Army and an Independent candidate from Sri Anandpur Sahib in the just-held Punjab assembly elections (results of which are yet to be declared), against Dhiman at Nangal police station on 20 February.

Kumar expects more women to come forward and lodge complaints against Dhiman. “I am currently in touch with more victims, and I’m sure they will come forward to give statements in front of the judge,” he told ThePrint.

Dhiman has currently been booked under section 376 (2) (abusing position of power to rape) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Along with Dhiman, Shivkumar, a local pharmacist in Nangran has also been arrested for possession of the footage, under sections of POCSO. Police are still investigating how the footage leaked 12 years later.

ThePrint had earlier reported that Dhiman is allegedly associated with the Congress party and has served as sarpanch of Nangran village twice and also holds a block panchayat level post. However, this has been denied by the Congress.

Also read: This 12-year-old was abducted, married to 52-yr-old. Her rescue exposed ‘child bride’ racket

Threats of murder, shaming in public, alleges victim

Speaking to ThePrint over phone, the victim alleged that after the assaults, she would wake up hours later, with her clothes intact. She would then be escorted back to class by the same vice principal. 

ThePrint couldn’t ascertain who the school’s vice principal was at the time.

Asked why the victim never complained, she said Dhiman used to threaten the victims. “He used to tell us he would murder us and our entire family, leak our photos and bring us shame in the entire community,” she said. 

“I am sure of one thing, that he’s still raping students in SD National Public School. Such people never change,” she said. 

More videos recovered?

A source in the police said that forensic testing of Dhiman’s phone revealed 50 more incriminating videos of recent students as well as a teacher at SD National School in Nangran. 

However, Kaur said the police are still investigating the matter and no new evidence has been found yet.

Kaur is part of the SIT that the Punjab Police have set up to probe the case. The SIT also comprises Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nangal, DSP Ropar, women cell in-charge Ropar district and in-charge of criminal intelligence section (Ropar).

Also read: Pause ‘Desh Ke Mentor’ scheme for sake of student safety, child rights body tells Delhi govt


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