The Himachal Pradesh government today said it would deal with the teachers involved in molestation of girl students in schools sternly and is contemplating a policy to directly dismiss such teachers based on preliminary inquiry.

“Let them seek relief in court. The government will take the strict action,” Education Minister, Suresh Bhardwaj informed the state Assembly.

He said this on the point of order raised by Leader of Opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri on alleged molestation of 13 girl students by a teacher in a government school in Haroli in district Una. He  asked the government to bring a policy to dismiss such teachers, rather than suspending them.

In his reply, the Education Minister said there is a provision under Article 311 of the Constitution whereby the government can directly dismiss the teacher.

Bhardwaj said that the accused teacher of a government school in Haroli had been suspended and sent to headquarters. A case has already been registered against him.

The minister informed there have been cases of molestation, where even state and national awardee teachers are allegedly involved. He said 12 girl students of another state government school lodged complaint of molestation by a national awardee teacher. An FIR was registered against him, but he succeeded in getting anticipatory bail. He was also put under suspension.

Stressing the need for awareness on such issues, Bhardwaj requested the MLAs not to approach to help out such people.

Earlier, Aginotri drew the attention of House towards discrimination against students while distribution of mid-day meals in a school located in the Chief Minister’s constituency in Mandi.

On this, the minister said Deputy Director (Education) Mandi was asked to submit a report on the episode in school in Mandi district, where the students of different castes were asked to sit in separate rows while serving mid-day meal to them. He said appropriate action would be taken in this regard after getting the report.