It saddens me: MK Stalin opens up about the shocking incident that happened in TN!

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has on Saturday opened up about the shocking incident that happened in the state, where a 17-year-old girl in Coimbatore had committed suicide on Thursday by alleging that she was sexually harassed by a male teacher. The state has been witnessing large-scale protests across its territory to seek justice for the student. These protests have been escalating and several politicians had also expressed their outrage against the incident. 

Besides expressing his anguish over the death of the student, the Chief Minister has also pressed that the school administrations should ensure that sexual violence does not occur. Taking to social media, MK Stalin wrote with staunch words, "The death of a Coimbatore student has saddened me. The perversion and cruelty of some human beasts have taken a life. School administrations need to ensure that sexual violence does not occur." 

"We will arrest the culprits and bring them to justice. We will ensure the safety of women", he added. The incident had sparked resentment and several unions, activists, and the peers of the girl have held demonstrations in various parts of Coimbatore for the past two days. The girl was in Class 12 and studying in Chinmaya Vidyalaya School in RS Puram, Coimbatore and she had faced sexual harassment from Mithun Chakravarthy, who was teaching Physics in the same school. 

Amid the protests, the police had filed a case against the teacher under the POCSO Act and he was apprehended on Friday and lodged in the sub-jail in Udumalpet. The girl was found hanging by her father at their residence on Thursday night The girl's close circle had alleged that she was living under mental stress for a long time and she had finally ended her life on Thursday. In her suicide note, which was retrieved by the police, she had blamed three persons including Mithun Chakravarthy for her death.

The hashtag #JusticeforPontharani has been trending on social media since Saturday while the protests have been rampant since Friday. All India Democratic Association, Students' Federation of India, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, and Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam had held protests on Friday outside the Coimbatore Collectorate demanding action against the teacher and the principal. The protesters had urged to arrest the accused teacher under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and demanded stern action against the school. 

Amid the protests, All Women's Police Station in RS Puram, Coimbatore, which probes the case, has on Friday registered a case against the teacher under IPC section 306 - abetment of suicide and section 9(L) - whoever commits sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly of the POCSO Act. Following registering the case, the police had arrested Mithun Chakravarthy on Friday night for further investigations. The police had taken him to the government hospital in Coimbatore for the health checkup as per the protocol and he was produced before a judge. He was then lodged in the sub-jail in Udumalpet under judicial custody.

On Saturday, the fellow students of the school had held protests in Coimbatore, seeking justice for their friend. The students had held protests by wearing black shirts and had carried placards that read "We will not be silenced. Not this time" and "Justice for Pontharani". Several unions had also moved a petition to the Coimbatore district Collector in which they demanded to arrest all the suspects including the higher officials of the school who were aware of such harassment, yet failed to take action. As the protests grow, the Coimbatore police have on Saturday booked a case against the school principal, Meera Jackson, under the POCSO Act in line with Mithun Chakravarthy. 

Several politicians in Tamil Nadu have sharply reacted to the incident. DMK MP Kanimozhi took to Twitter and wrote, "The incident where the schoolgirl of Coimbatore committed suicide due to sexual harassment from a teacher is frightening. An action must be taken on the school management for failing to take action on such harassment despite the girl being informed about it several times." "The crime can be stopped at the right time when the voices of students are heard", she added. Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said, "The incident where a school student committed suicide due to sexual harassment in Coimbatore is shocking. Those responsible for her death must be punished." The Chief of AMMK TTV Dhinakaran and Naam Tamilar's Seeman have also urged strong action against the school.