Andheri school ‘rape’: Class teacher took 4-year-old girl to trustee’s office, say parents

According to the FIR, in October 2016, the 30-year-old teacher took the girl to the trustee’s cabin and left. The alleged assault came to light a few days later when the girl’s mother discovered marks on her body.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:June 8, 2017 2:22 am

Parents of the four-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by the trustee of an international school in Andheri last year, have told the police in their FIR that it was the child’s class teacher who had taken her to the trustee’s office. According to the FIR, in October 2016, the 30-year-old teacher took the girl to the trustee’s cabin and left. The alleged assault came to light a few days later when the girl’s mother discovered marks on her body, police said. A senior police officer said the teacher has been questioned and her statement recorded, but she has not been placed under arrest.

“School norms dictate that kindergarten students are not to leave their classrooms unless they are accompanied by a teacher, and even then, only during recess. We are investigating what time of the school day the girl was taken out of the classroom,” said an officer at MIDC police station.

In May, after the girl had identified the trustee by pointing out his face on the school’s website, her parents visited the school seeking answers, but found it shut for summer vacation. “They were already taking legal advice from a local NGO. After they could not meet anyone at the school, they decided to register an FIR,” said the officer.

The MIDC police have booked the trustee, who is currently on vacation in Europe, and the class teacher for rape under the IPC sections. The police have also added sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against them.

During visits to the school, the police found that no CCTV camera was installed there. “It is an open concept school and authorities have told us that they do not believe in having cameras,” said the officer.

To corroborate the allegations made in the FIR, the police have also recorded statements of teaching and non-teaching staff at the school. However, the police said, all of them have claimed not to be aware of the incident.

According to the police, a classmate of the girl was also allegedly molested by the secretary, and they are trying to convince his parents to file a complaint. “After her daughter told her what happened, the victim’s mother enquired with other parents if something similar had happened to their children,” said the officer. However, the boy’s parents are not keen to register a complaint.

“We are hopeful that parents of other children who may have been abused will come forward. It will strengthen our case,” said an MIDC police station officer who is a part of the investigating team.

After the girl and her parents returned to Mumbai last week following a vacation abroad, the girl’s medical examination was conducted on Tuesday. The officer said the police have also written to the metropolitan magistrate court to record the girl’s statement before a woman magistrate and a counsellor.

The trustee, who is in Europe on an annual month-long vacation, is expected to return to Mumbai in the last week of June, the police said. The school’s principal did not respond to phone calls seeking his comment.

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