In a shocking revelation, the father of the 11-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her school bus attendant (who was aided in the crime by the bus driver) has said the Wanowrie school where the she was enrolled at the time of the incident and the school in Kondhwa where she shifted to asked the girl to leave once they came to know about the incident.
Recounting the ordeal, the father said, “I first told the principal about the incident in December, a few days before Christmas vacation. Then the principal said they would look into it and then cancel their permit to work in the school. By that time, I had started picking and dropping my daughter to and from the school.” The principal also gave us the number of two-three drivers. But they all refused to take my daughter in the bus,” he added.
“Once the school reopened in January, I again approached the principal. She asked a person who looks after the transport and the class teacher to come to the office. The transport in-charge then called both the driver and the attendant to come to the office. Once everything was narrated, the attendant denied doing anything and even the transport in-charge vouched for them,” said father. “Then the principal said there was no problem with the transport and we can take out our child from the school if we had a problem. She also said that will be better for the child too as many knew about this incident in the school,” he added.
After a few days, the father said, he met one of the directors of the school who asked him to give a written complaint. “I gave a complaint letter at his office. He told me that within 15 days, action would be taken. But nothing happened,” said the father. “When the results came in March, I was asked to go to the office. They told me to fill up the school-leaving certificate first.”
The child was enrolled in another school in Kondhwa. “She went to the new school on April 7. The next day was a holiday. On her second day, she apparently looked sad and when the teacher asked her why, she narrated the entire ordeal. The teacher told the principal, who called us the next day. The principal sais they could not provide any transport for my child and we can remove the child if we had a problem. This when there are school buses from that school coming to the area we stay in. So I took my child out from that school, too,” he said.
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The Wanowrie school management had approached the parents offering free education for the child but they declined. “A school from Wakad also had approached us with an offer. But till there is a logical end to this, I have decided not to enrol her in any school,” he added.
Despite repeated attempts, the school officials did not respond to calls or messages.
S K Jain, the lawyer representing the school, said, “There were no complaints by the father and on the school-leaving certificate too dated March 29, the reason for taking out their child has been stated as ‘No transport facility hence want to shift.’ The management never asked the parents to withdraw the child from the school”.