Members of the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (DSS) staged a dharna in front of the District Police Office here on Wednesday demanding a re-investigation of the Manipal molestation case.

The police arrested two school bus crew members – Shubha Kumar (21) and Sudhir (46) on September 22, on the charge of molesting a three-year-old girl at a school in Manipal on September 16. They were arrested on a complaint lodged by the girl’s mother at Manipal police station on September 21.

Addressing the protestors, Jayan Malpe, convener of district unit of the Samiti, said both the accused had been remanded to judicial custody till October 19. The matter was being heard in the District and Sessions Court.

Those who had known the accused for several years had expressed several doubts regarding the case. Though the molestation was said to have taken place on September 16, the complaint was filed on September 21. This gave rise to doubts as to whether the incident had actually taken place. Due to this, even the medical examination too came under question.

There were 1,800 children and more than 120 teachers at the school. The incident was supposed to have taken place between 12.55 p.m. and 1.25 p.m. It was difficult to understand how such an incident could take place in a bus on the school premises, as alleged in the complaint, when so many people were around.

When a delegation of the DSS met the two accused at the District Jail in Anjar, the duo denied any wrongdoing. A delegation of DSS leaders and others later submitted a memorandum to the Superintendent of Police M.B. Boralingaiah on the issue. Mr. Boralingaiah said that he would look into the matter.

Later speaking to presspersons, Mr. Boralingaiah said that medical report in the case was awaited. The chargesheet in the case was yet to be filed, he said.