The sexual assault on a four-year-old girl at a school in Bangalore has been confirmed by doctors, as police on Wednesday intensified the probe into the horrific incident which evoked protest from parents.
The school staff were questioned and the CCTV footage was being examined by the police, as outraged parents thronged the campus of the school where the incident took place, demanding answers from its authorities on the incident.
“The doctors (at a private hospital where the girl was taken for treatment yesterday) confirmed there was a slight bruise of a very small dimension, amounting to sexual assault,” Bangalore Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi told reporters in Bangalore.
Mr. Reddi said, “There is the statement of the child and the injury and the circumstances. At this point of time, there is no other possibility. It looks like a sexual assault.”
A criminal case has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 and IPC section 376 (rape) on a complaint from the father of the child, he said.
This is the third incident of a minor girl student being allegedly sexually assaulted on school campus in Bangalore in the last four months.
Mr. Reddi said the girl was crying when her mother picked her up from the school at Jalahalli on Tuesday noon and she was not behaving normal and had symptoms of fever.
While the girl initially told her mother that someone beat her up, she later said she was sexually assaulted, police said.
Mr. Reddi said it was difficult for the police to say they are clueless whether the crime happened on the school premises or outside. “Our objective is to detect the case and investigate fairly. It would be difficult for me to tell you we are clueless,” he said.
Asked about the school management clarifying that the assault took place outside the school campus, Mr. Reddi said the police would conduct a thorough investigation despite varied opinions about the crime.
“We have spoken to all possible people including the school management... the police will do a professional investigation,” he said.
Mr. Reddi said the police had contacted the school management as per the demands made by parents and its chief has been asked to come to Bangalore.
He also said the parents had been requested to form a small group of five to eight people, who would be in touch with the investigating authorities and management “to tackle confusion over varied information pouring in”.
Mr. Reddi said the area and the classroom in which the girl sits also have been inspected and CCTV footage seized and being examined.
“I am shocked about the news that the incident has happened in this school where the atmosphere was so good. I have come here to know from the management what has happened. I have been to this school, security is good here,” a parent of a child studying in the school said.
“If it is true that the incident has happened in the school, then we will definitely support that child and try to get justice for her,” another parent said.
Three cases of sexual assault on minor girls in schools have occurred in the last four months in Bangalore.
An eight-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by her 63-year-old teacher inside her school premises over a period of time, with the offence coming to the fore in early August, barely a month after the “gangrape” of a six-year-old girl at Vibgyor High School in Bangalore evoked public outrage.
The Vibgyor school incident saw public erupt in anger on the streets leading to police issuing stringent guidelines to schools to ensure safety of children and government amending the Goondas Act to bring sexual offences under its ambit.
Earlier story by our correspondent Tanu Kulkarni:
Parents gather outside Bangalore school
Staff members of a school in Jalahalli are being questioned in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a four-year-old girl in its campus even as parents outraged over the incident held protests and demanded answers from the management.
A meeting is currently underway between Education authorities, City Police and school authorities. The school has over 800 students enrolled.
CCTV footage from the school was being examined and staff members were being questioned, police said, as the shocking incident surfaced last night.
City Police Commissioner M. N. Reddi, who visited the school immediately after the complaint was lodged yesterday, has ordered a probe by ACP (Malleshwaram) Sarah Fatima.
The State Department of Public Instruction will send a report to the Ministry of Human Resource Development on the alleged sexual assault.
Commissioner for Public Instruction Mohammad Mohsin said that since the school was not affiliated to the State Board, the MHRD could initiate action against the school if the charges were found to be true.