Days after the rape of a six-year-old child at the elite Vibgyor High School here triggered outrage and massive protests in Bangalore, police on Tuesday arrested two gym instructors at the school but ruled out the involvement of a skating instructor who had earlier been arrested.
The police identified the two gym instructors as Waseem Pasha and Lalgiri and said they were the perpetrators of the sexual assault that occurred two weeks ago.
The police had on July 20 arrested a skating instructor at the school, Mohammed Mustafa, on the basis of child pornography videos found on his laptop. The arrest of the 30-year-old occurred amid massive protests over the failure of the police to arrest anybody for the rape that took place in the school premises during school hours.
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On Tuesday, Bangalore’s new Police Commissioner M N Reddi announced that following extensive investigations, including analysis of the child’s version with the help of experts, it emerged that gym instructors Pasha and Lalgiri were the actual perpetrators of the crime.
“A child’s version of things that occurred is not usually as clear as that of adults. We handled the child sensitively with the help of experts to glean information about the crime and the new arrests were made on that basis,” Reddi said at a press conference.
He said Mustafa had not been found to have been involved in the sexual assault but he will be booked for allegations of misbehavior at a previous school where he worked. The allegations that the skating instructor had misbehaved while he was at the Deens Academy school — more than two years ago — emerged following his arrest in the Vibgyor case.
Police sources said Pasha and Lalgiri were initially among the prime suspects since they were normally present in the gym area where the child was allegedly attacked. A medical test had been conducted earlier on Pasha but had not thrown up leads, the sources said. The focus of the investigations got diverted to Mustafa after parents and public staged massive protests against the school management and the police. The police arrested Mustafa and claimed that the presence of child porn on his laptop was an indication of his bent of mind.
The alleged rape at the Vibgyor High rocked Bangalore after the parents of the child lodged a police complaint on July 14 after the school management refused to respond to their concerns. In her complaint, the child’s mother had indicated that the alleged incident occurred on July 2 and that two persons were involved. A medical examination of the child also revealed sexual assault.
Police sources said on Tuesday that the incident may not have occurred on the day mentioned in the complaint but closer to the July 11 weekend when the child complained of stomach pain and was taken to a doctor.The doctor who examined the child that weekend had first reported that she had been sexually assaulted.
Following Mustafa’s arrest, the police had also tracked down and arrested the chairman of the school, Mumbai businessman Rustom Kherawala, on charges of suppressing information.
The case also saw a change of guard in the Bangalore Police Commissionerate over the past 10 days with Reddi being brought in as the police commissioner in place of Raghavendra Auradkar and Alok Kumar being brought in as additional commissioner for law and order in place of Kamal Pant. The transfers were widely seen as a consequence of the handling of the rape case.