Pressure mounted on Bangalore Police on Saturday to show arrests in the case of an alleged rape of a six-year-old child on the campus of an elite school as more than 5,000 people gathered in protest near the school demanding police action.
The alleged rape is said to have occurred at Vibgyor International School on July 2 and was reported to the police on July 14 by the child’s parents. Angry parents and supporters gathered in a field near the school demanding immediate arrests in the attack allegedly carried out during school hours by suspected school workers.
Efforts by the Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar to reason with the crowd fell on deaf ears as the protesters, many of them wearing black protest robes, shouted him down with slogans like “shame, shame, shame”.
“The police commissioner could not even give us a convincing answer. How many days will the police take to arrest the culprits?,” said Raju, a parent.
The Vibgyor International School in Tubarahalli near Varthur in east Bangalore has been witness to protests since Wednesday, initially by parents of children at the school and later by members of the public as well.
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The parents of the child, in their police complaint, have said that she was allegedly sexually assaulted by two persons on the school campus on July 2. They filed the complaint after they found out about the sexual assault from a doctor, who examined the child after she complained of stomach ache last weekend.
While an initial medical test confirmed the sexual assault, the police conducted a second test after the filing of the complaint to gather strong evidence against a physical instructor and a security guard at the school, who were detained as prime suspects but have not been placed under arrest for lack of evidence.
One of the suspects had child pornography on his computer but there has been no evidence to link him to the attack on the child, sources said.
“Without strong evidence the police cannot carry out any arrest. An innocent person must not be punished because of the demand for the arrest,’’ a police source said. One of the issues complicating the case is the fact that the child has not been able to pinpoint an attacker.
CCTV footage at the school has not thrown up any clues and the gymnastics room where the attack is alleged to have occurred also did not provide clues, sources said.
The delay by the police in fixing responsibility for the attack and the school management’s delayed response in addressing the safety of children at the school has enraged parents.