Bangalore: The delay in arresting the two teachers accused of sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl in a private school here has outraged hundreds of parents who Saturday took out a protest march against police and the school management.
Assurances by Commissioner of Police Raghavendra Auradkar that action would be taken soon did not convince the parents of wards studying in the same school, as the accused were not arrested till late Saturday.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the police commissioner with details of the incident and the culpability of the school management in the horrifying crime, as it failed to act against the accused and is not sharing any information with us,” Nandish Reddy, a parent, told IANS.
Though Karnataka Home Minister K.J. George had Friday assured the parents that the culprits would be arrested within a day, Auradkar told reporters Saturday that the investigation team would need another day or two to collect all the evidence to take the accused into custody.
“A 20-member special team is working on the case round-the-clock to collect evidence. It’s a sensitive case, involving a minor who is in a trauma. We cannot force her to recall all that happened at one time. We have sent the medical report for forensic examination,” Auradkar said.
The investigative team is also grappling with the CCTV footage collected from the school, as its recording is in analogue and not digital and the visuals are not clear to show what exactly happened July 2 and what the gym instructor and the physical instructor did with the girl in a class room.
After a day-long protest, the parents decided to wait till Sunday or Monday for the next course of action, if the accused are not arrested.
“We are not convinced by the commissioner’s reasons for the delay. It is five days since the victim’s parents filed the complaint July 14 and four days since the accused were detained and interrogated.
What more evidence they want when the medical test proved that there was a sexual assault on the minor,” Reddy said.
Reddy, whose child studies in the same school, is a former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from K.R. Puram assembly segment in the city’s eastern suburb.
The parents were also upset that none of the ministers, lawmakers and officials came to meet them at the protest venue in front of the HAL police station in the city’s eastern suburb.
“As no action has been taken against the accused or the school management till date, we staged a four-km protest march from the school to the police station.
Even hundreds of parents of wards reading in other schools across the city, and social activists supported us in the rally,” Reddy said.
Arriving at the protest venue an hour behind schedule, Auradkar sought to pacify the angry parents by assuring them that police were on the job and action would be taken against the accused and the school management.
“I request you to have faith in us. We are going to take action against the accused. Have patience and bear with us, as our officers have been working 24×7 over the last four days in investigating the case,” the police chief told the parents.
Sharing the grief and anger of the parents, Auradkar said the incident was inhuman and condemnable.
“All of us are pained by the incident. It is shameful. The perpetrators will not be spared. Though the incident happened 18 days ago (July 2), there was a delay in knowing about it, as the child was in trauma and her parents took time to complain about the incident,” he added.