March 27, 2015 3:41:45 am
A 28-year-old sweeper employed at a civic school in Null Bazaar in South Mumbai was arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly repeatedly raping a 10-year-old student over the past two months.
The incidents of sexual assault came to light after the girl confided in her aunt on Wednesday.
According to the police, the girl, who studies in class I, had been raped by the accused, Pankaj Koli, inside his room in the school premises, on at least three separate occasions. He reportedly threatened her against telling anyone in her family.
Koli has been charged with molestation, rape and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code and also charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and remanded to police custody until April 1.
Koli had been working at the school as a sweeper for the past eight years and used to live in a small room inside the campus and allegedly lured the victim there during recess hours and on certain occasions after school-hours.
“In her statements, the victim has told us that Koli would ask her to come inside his room. He would rape her on his bed and let her go within five minutes, so as not to arouse the suspicions of her family. Since the girl lives close by, there was never a great delay in her reaching home,” said Anil Madvi, senior inspector, J J Marg police station.
However, the girl’s aunt, had, on certain occasions, noticed marks on her skin. “The girl would not tell her how she got those marks. At the same time, the aunt had also noticed that her niece being unnaturally quiet,” Madvi said.
An officer at J J Marg police station said that a week ago the aunt had met the school’s principal and the girl’s class teacher expressing concern at the girl’s recent behaviour, but received no definite answers.
When the girl returned home from school on Wednesday afternoon, the aunt noticed that the girl was walking oddly and that there were fresh marks on her hands. Later, when she bathed the girl, she noticed more marks on her private parts and quizzed her about it. “The girl then said that the sweeper had been touching her,” the officer said.
Immediately, the aunt took the girl to the school, where she identified Koli. “The aunt asked Koli to accompany her to the police station, saying she had some work there. Suspecting nothing, Koli went along. The girl’s aunt then registered a complaint,” the officer said.
“No one in school noticed a non-teaching staff taking a student into his quarter. We are investigating whether Koli similarly assaulted any other students,” the officer said.
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