Mumbai crime: Teacher held for molesting minor at Kandivli school

The five-year-old student, who had gone to offer him chocolates as it was her birthday, narrated entire incident to her mother; the police arrested the accused on the same day

Yet another alleged molestation case within a school’s premise has been reported in the city. This time, the mother of a five-year-old girl lodged an FIR with the Kandivli police station on Friday stating that a male teacher molested her daughter in school. The student of Pawar Public School at Kandivli had allegedly gone to give chocolates to the teacher when he touched her inappropriately. She narrated the incident to her mother at home after school.

Pawar Public School at Kandivli. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Pawar Public School at Kandivli. Pic/Nimesh Dave

The allegation
“When my daughter woke up after a nap around 3 pm, she was excited about having gone to school in fancy clothes as it was her birthday. We were preparing for her party, while discussing her day at school. She told me: 'Teacher bahut dirty hai, main agli baar unki class mein nahi jaaungi (The teacher is very dirty, I will not go to his class again)’. On gently prodding her, she revealed that he put his hands in her pocket on the pretext of searching for another gift and removed her frock and undergarments in the empty room,” the victim’s mother said. The minor was also able to describe the colour of the clothes he was wearing.

The mother reported the incident to the school principal, Amita Katyal, who immediately summoned the teacher — whose clothes matched to the child’s description — and a child counsellor. “The child did not display any trauma during the course of the meeting, but keeping in mind the seriousness of the allegations, the police was called to intervene. We have the school and the room, where the alleged incident took place, under CCTV surveillance and the hard disk containing the footage has been handed over to the cops. Unfortunately, we could not see the footage owing to some technical error in our computer system,” said Katyal. She added that the teacher had a clean record of being child-friendly and popular among students. “We have cooperated with both the parents and the police. It’s time for the law to decide the validity of the accusations,” added Katyal.

Police speak
The teacher has been arrested and booked under the Indian Penal Code Section 354(B), which pertains to assaults or uses criminal force to any woman or abetment of such act, with the intention of disrobing or compelling her to be naked in any public place. “We have recorded the statements of the complainant and the alleged accused,” said Senior PI Mahipati Pandharmise, Kandivli police station, who said that the crime is yet to be proven. The teacher was produced in court yesterday and remanded to one day of police custody. “The case will come up for a second hearing today. It will take us a couple of days to scrutinise the CCTV footage,” said investigating officer PI Jayant Mate.

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