Edu official sends obscene clip in teachers’ WhatsApp group - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Edu official sends obscene clip in teachers’ WhatsApp group

Edu official sends obscene clip in teachers’ WhatsApp group

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, August 14

A district-level official of the Padho Punjab, Padhao Punjab initiative of the state Education Department sent an obscene video clip in a WhatsApp group formed for teachers following which a huge hue and cry has been raised by women tutors.

On August 8, Vishal Manhas, a science master working at Government Senior Secondary School of Dehar Fattupur village falling in the Kalanaur education block, sent a clip, which women teachers claim was “offensive and disgusting by accepted standards of decency and morality”, in a WhatsApp group comprising of 200 teachers, a majority of them being women.

Manhas, is the administrator of the group following his position as the Gurdaspur district coordinator of primary schools of Padho Punjab, Padhao Punjab drive. Curiously, despite being promoted two years ago to a senior secondary school, he still retains the charge of the primary schools of all the 16 education blocks of the district, a move which in itself has raised many an eyebrow within the department.

When the gaffe of Manhas went public, he denied it by insisting that his mobile phone was with his driver when the video was “inadvertently forwarded to the teachers.” “Moreover, when I got to know of the blunder I asked by driver to immediately remove it and hence I do not think I hurt the sentiments of the teachers,” he said.

However, the tutors claimed the clip was deleted after 19 minutes. “This was enough to unleash the damage on the psyche of the female teachers. We all know a top politician is supporting the erring official and now the same leader wants to ensure that no damage should be inflicted on the career of Manhas,” said a woman employee.

Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal asked DEO (Elementary) Vinod Kumar to probe the issue. The DEO, on his part, has referred the case to the Education Department’s sexual harassment committee.

The committee, under the chairmanship of Maya Devi, held its first meeting today where Manhas was first grilled and later asked to depose in writing.

Manhas said he told the committee that “it was not his fault and that his driver should be blamed”.

Amarjit Shastri, president of the Punjab Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), said if Manhas should be believed then his driver should be booked under relevant sections of the IPC.

“Manhas is a teacher, a role model for youngsters and is working on a responsible position. He should have acted with a sense of responsibility. I urge the DEO to hold an impartial probe to ensure the truth surfaces and the guilty punished,” said Shastri.

‘Mobile Phone was with driver’

My mobile phone was with my driver when the video was inadvertently forwarded to the teachers. When I got to know of the blunder I asked my driver to immediately remove it. —Vishal Manhas, Science Master

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