Peon held for raping 3-yr-old in school

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 10, 2017

The police suspects the crime was perpetrated between August 1 and August 4 as per the accounts of the child and her mother. A peon at an ICSE school in Malad East was arrested by the Dindoshi police on Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl in the school's toilet on four consecutive days since August 1. Police said the accused, identified as Vishal Sarde, 28, has been arrested. The incident came to light on Tuesday, when angry parents from the school and locals gathered at the school after learning of his arrest, to protest the school's inaction over the incident.

Rape charges under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and section 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) and 8 (punishment for sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act have been put against him. He is in police custody till August 11.

The child had been admitted to the school just this year in the nursery section, the classes for which are held from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm. Police personnel were deployed at the school to maintain law and order, and senior police officers met parents and assured them of speedy and strict action in the case. "Why is the principal quiet?" The school already has CCTV installed, especially in the passage with the two toilets used by the class. We want a solution.

While another anxious parent asked: "If the student does not return to the class for a long time, how can the teacher not notice? So I approached the Dindoshi police station on August 5 to register the FIR", said the child's mother who was also present at Tuesday's protest. The school's principal tried to reassure the agitating parents and the school manager said they would replace all the male staff inside the school building with female staff, including PT, computer and dance teacher. "The management wants to hush up the matter", said another anxious parent Indrajeet Singh. Male security guards posted at the gate would not be allowed to come inside the building. "The CCTV footage will also be checked", said another police official. When the protest intensified, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar visited the school and made an aborted attempt to broker peace. Parents, however, heckled the school manager and a teacher who denied the incident ever took place.

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