Bangalore: Hundreds of socio-political activists and parents Friday staged a massive demonstration against a private school in the city's eastern suburb where a six-year-old girl student was allegedly raped twice this week by a teacher.
Seeking severe punishment to the suspect and stringent action against the school for the horrifying crime in its premises, many parents said the management was not forthcoming on what safety measures it had taken to protect their wards.
"Ever since similar incidents happened in a couple of schools in the city recently, we asked the school chairman what measures had been taken to ensure safety of our wards. Though he claimed to have implemented the safety guidelines, the same incident occurred in this school," S. Geetha, a parent of two wards, told IANS outside the school.
Of the four closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the school premises, only one was working while the others were defective, a parent alleged.
"The cameras also do not cover the entire school complex, especially first and second floors of the rectangular building, rest rooms and the whole playground in the middle. Only two guards are seen at the main gate while no maids are posted inside to ensure safety of girl students," another parent said on the condition of anonymity.
In a swift action, suspect Jaishankar, 38, a Hindi teacher in Cambridge School, was arrested late Thursday hours after the victim's mother lodged a complaint in the local police station about her daughter, reading in first standard, being sexually abused Oct 28-29 in the school premises.
"We will present the suspect in a local court to seek his custody for interrogation. We are waiting for the victim's medical report from the state-run hospital in the city where she was examined for the sexual assault to investigate the case," additional commissioner of police (law and order) Alok Kumar told reporters near the school.
A criminal case was registered against the suspect under sections 4 and 6 of Pocso Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) and section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the complaint, based on the girl's version.
According to the complaint, on returning home from school Wednesday evening, the girl told her mother that she was feeling pain in the genital region after her male teacher, a physical training instructor, physically abused her Tuesday and Wednesday, once in the restroom and then in the classroom when she was alone.
"We will record the girl's version of the incident before a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) after she recovers from the trauma she went through. Female staff of the probe team will also counsel her to recall what happened, when and where in the school premises," Kumar said.
Though the school management declared holiday for Friday, hundreds of students turned up early morning to attend classes and had to return home early while many of their parents and relatives of other wards stayed back to meet the management.
About 200 police personnel were deployed around the school, located in a dense residential colony, to maintain peace and prevent any untoward incident.
About 300 members of a Dalit organisation, pro-Kannada activists and opposition BJP cadres joined the agitated parents at the sit-in demo, and sought justice to the victim and dismissal of the suspect from the school.
"In view of this latest incident, male teachers should not be appointed for teaching or training in girls or co-ed schools for the sake of our wards' safety and security. If unavoidable, their background profile should be checked by police to find out their past conduct and behaviour," Geetha asserted.
Meanwhile, the management expressed regrets for the incident and assured all the parents that the services of the accused teacher would be terminated if he was found guilty.