As protests against the sexual assault of a first standard student in a private school continued on Thursday, irate parents barged inside the school building and vandalised it. Incidentally, the school’s founder, Rustom P. Kerawala, was holding a meeting with some of the students’ parents at the time.
Demanding a response from the school management, the protesters brought down the gates of the school, smashed the glass door at the entrance, before barging in and demanding security for their wards.
‘Hand over the culprits and we shall do justice’ was one of the many placards held up by scores of protesters, who comprised mainly parents, among them former MLA Nandish Reddy. Outraged citizens also joined hands with them later.
The parents have placed 40 demands before the school management. The management, along with the police and Education Department officials, will hold a meeting on July 22 to discuss the demands.
They wanted heighten security for the safety of their wards. “Anyone can easily enter the school premises without being questioned. How can we be sure of our children’s safety,” asked one of the parents who had assembled at the school.
After the protesters barged in, Mr. Kerawala, standing on top of the building, tried to console the parents. However, the furious protesters demanded that he come down and address them.
Hoping to be heard over the slogan-calling, Mr. Kerawala told the parents that extra security measures would be put in place, including installation of more CCTV cameras.
During the meeting, Mr. Kerawala stated that it was not sure if the sexual assault had indeed taken place on the school premises, contrary to the allegations by parents that the incident occurred at the gym on the school premises.
The police have detained the gym instructor and his assistant, along with another school staff member, who were allegedly involved in the sexual assault.
Apologising for the incident that he termed unfortunate, Mr. Kerawala said the school has handed over the CCTV footage to the police and are cooperating fully with the investigation. He further added that any questions or demands by parents could be sent to his email and the school would try to fulfil them.