A week after a four-year-old child was sexually assaulted by two physical education teachers at Kolkata’s GD Birla Centre for Education, the school reopened its gates to students studying between Class VI and XII.Both parents and students said that while the incident was horrific, it was unfair on the older students who were appearing for board examinations.The decision to reopen the school was taken on Wednesday after school authorities gave into the demands of protesting parents and placed Principal Sharmila Nath on an indefinite leave. The vice principal has been given additional responsibilities as acting principal.Parents and guardians have also demanded that CCTV cameras be installed in the school premises, male teachers be removed, and GPS trackers be set up on school buses. School authorities added that the demands had been heard and noted, and a decision would be taken soon.Meanwhile, the health of the four-year-old victim continued to remain the same. It was revealed that she had not been eating and had trouble sleeping. Sources said that while her health was stable, she was still going through trauma. “She is only comfortable around her mother and is also being counselled by experts,” the source added.Also readKolkata sexual assault case: School principal finally removed after massive protestChild abuse has been on a constant rise in India. According to data provided by Child Rights and You (CRY) through a cumulative analysis of NCRB data, crimes against children has seen a 500% increase over the past decade (1,06,958 in 2016 over 18,967 in 2006).Looking at the concentration of reported incidents across the states, more than 50% of crimes against children have been recorded in just five states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi UT and West Bengal. While Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 15% of recorded crimes against children, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh closely follow with 14% and 13% respectively.Also readKolkata rape: GD Birla school faces legal action after abrupt shutdown, rights body says fate of 7,000 students at stakeGoing by the nature of crimes and categories those were booked under, Kidnapping and Abduction clearly tops the lists with almost half of the total crimes (48.9%, number of crimes 52,253) as recorded in 2016. The next biggest category of crime against children in terms of number of booking is rape, amounting to more than 18% of all crimes against children, while all crimes under POCSO Act constitutes around 33% of total crimes. Further analysis suggests that Uttar Pradesh recorded maximum number of crimes under the categories of ‘Kidnapping & Abduction’ and ‘POCSO Act’; as in both these categories Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh stand in the second and third slot respectively.This year, a new chapter on ‘Missing Persons and Children’ which has been included in this year’s NCRB release in compliance with the Supreme Court directives, shows that a total of 1,11,569 children (41,175 boys and 70,394 girls) were reported to have been missing. The maximum cases were reported from West Bengal (15.1%) during 2016. A total of 55,944 children were traced at the end of the year (including previous year) in the country.Komal Ganotra, Director, Policy & Advocacy at CRYsaid, “Going by the current trend reflected in the Government data, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh along with some other states continue to show worrying trends in the magnitude of crime against children. Also, this is a grim reminder of the fact that we, as a country, do not have proper prevention mechanisms in place to address the issue of child protection, nor are we keen on building more empathetic understanding and intervention plans adequately backed up by sustained investment on child security.”
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As Kolkata school reopens after minor’s sexual assault, data shows crimes against children rose 500% in last decade