The police on Wednesday arrested a cook at the Government School for Deaf on charges of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy of the school. The arrested, Premchandran Nair, 55, had been working at the school on daily wages for the past three years.

The incident came to light when the hearing impaired boy, a hostel resident, returned home last weekend.

On reaching home, the boy was silent and shut himself up in a room. The family had to take him to a doctor as he was running high fever. The family initially suspected he was homesick as he was new to the school and hostel. But later he told his sister that he was sexually assaulted by the cook twice, who threatened the boy that he would kill his family members if he revealed the incident to anyone.

Following a complaint filed by the boy’s family, the police registered a case and arrested the cook from the school in the morning.

“He told us that he liked the school and was willing to stay at the hostel if the accused was not there with him,” said the boy’s father.

“He was so shocked that he did not eat anything on those days. He kept telling us not to inform the school authorities for fear that the accused might hurt us,” said the boy’s sister.

Several complaints

Meanwhile, members of the School Management Committee (SMC) and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) alleged that the school authorities appointed the accused person despite the committee giving repeated complaints about his behaviour.

SMC president T.S. Prakash told The Hindu that on many occasions the teachers had seen the cook smoking, and reports were also there that he used to distribute and consume alcohol on the school premises.

“The SMC and PTA representatives had conveyed their unhappiness in reappointing him, and he had figured last in the rank list. He somehow got reappointed because of his connections,” said Mr. Prakash.

However, the school headmistress said that the accused was selected after his appointment was agreed upon at a meeting attended by the school authorities, including the members of the SMC and PTA. Also, she said, she never received any complaint from the teachers or students about him before. She said that he had been dismissed from service.