Pune Police have arrested a 59-year-old IAS officer for allegedly sexually abusing four minor schoolgirls by luring them by offering them sweets and Rs 15.

The girls the Maharashtra Cadre officer had allegedly assaulted were seven to ten year old.

Maruti Sawant
Maruti Sawant

The accused has been identified as Maruti Sawant, currently posted as director general of the Maharashta Council of Agricultural Education and Research (MCAER), in Pune. Sawant is of
1998 batch of IAS officers and had earlier worked in Social Justice Development department of Maharashtra State.

The case has been registered with Sinhgad police station by the wife of local corporator on late Wednesday night and he was arrested on Thursday evening under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code comprises molestation (354) and rape (376) and also under the The Protection of Children From Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act section 4 which speaks about sexual abuse.

Sudhakar Pathare, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II) said, “The victims are students of a school run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in Hingne area. The four victims are residing in the same locality which the accused used to visit over the weekend. Out of the four victims, two are of class II students, while one of the victims is studying in class fifth and another is in seventh standard.

On Tuesday, the school had organised a workshop for students in which they were inrteracting with a lady counselor who shared information about "good" and "bad touches". The Std 2nd victim asked some questions which aroused the counselor's suspicion after which the tragic incident came to light.”

BJP corporator Shrikant Jagtap who alerted the police said, “The counselor alerted the school principal and me as the parents of the victims were not in a position to lodge a complaint and and as per the POCSO Act we must not hide the facts. Later, my wife and I interacted with the victims and alerted the police." The girls revealed they had been sexually abused for last two months.

He added, "Sawant stayed with his family in Shivajinagar area and would stay at his flat in the victims' locality over the weekends. In the evening, the victims would play in the parking area and Sawant would call them under the pretext of giving them sweets and Rs 15 cash. He would then sexually abuse them. On several occassion prior to the offence, victims claimed that Sawant had shown them obsence clippings from his smart phone and later sexually abuse them.