The Chandigarh Police on Wednesday arrested a school bus conductor who, allegedly, sexually assaulted a five-year-old kindergarten student of a private school on the bus on several occasions.
The parents reported the matter to the police after the principal, whom they had first informed last Thursday, took no action against conductor Jagjeet Singh, saying he was an employee of the transport contractor. Also, he asked them to get a medical certificate of the girl, the parents said.
According to the mother, the girl used to be the last to be dropped home. Last Wednesday, she told her mother that the conductor often touched her private parts and had warned that if she told her parents, he would throw them from a rooftop.
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The next day, the parents complained to the principal who assured that the conductor would be thrown out. But the conductor was there in the bus on Friday again, said the mother.
After the weekend, the parents submitted a written complaint, but the principal asked them to get a medical certificate, saying the girl was traumatised. The parents said the principal also told them that the bus belonged to a contractor and the school was not responsible for the conductor’s actions.
On Tuesday, the parents again met the principal, but again the principal asked for the medical certificate. On Wednesday, the parents complained to the police. Jagjeet Singh, in his early 20s, was arrested and booked on the charges of sexual assault, physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures, and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Inspector Ranjodh Singh, SHO of the Sector 39 police station, said, “The parents submitted a written complaint, saying the conductor was sexually abusing the minor on the bus. We have arrested him.”
The parents also demanded action against the principal for not taking the incident seriously. ASP (South) Navdeep Brar said that they were verifying the complaint and “will take action against the principal if we find something’’.
Defending his conduct, principal Sanjiv Kumar said, “We cannot check each driver and conductor. That is why we have given a contract and the buses are not part of the school. It is our responsibility to protect the students in and around the campus only.”
He added, “I had asked the parents to submit a medical certificate of the child saying that she was traumatised, but they did not and were also hesitant to call the police. It was I who complained to the police.’’
The parents said the school could not disown responsibility for what happens in the buses. “We pay the bus fees to the school,’’ said the father.