Mumbai : Reacting to an article published in an English tabloid in connection with a case of alleged sexual assault on a three-year-old girl of a renowned school in suburban Andheri, Reva Kakar, Member, Parents for Action against Abuse (PAA), has wrote an open letter to Ruth Mehta, Trustee of the school.
The article quotes another trustee who is currently in-charge of the school as saying, “This is entirely shocking, given the facts of the case. This is a trial by fire for the accused. But I haven’t lost faith in the judiciary and am convinced he will come out clean.”
Kakar wrote: “While I am relieved that the victim and her parents’ pleas are finally getting heard, I also believe that you have completely failed as a trustee of a school by standing behind an accused rapist.
Kakar wrote further, “When the victim’s parents came to you a year back with their complaint, you failed on three counts. Firstly, you did not ask Patrick Brillant to step down and then conduct an internal investigation into the matter. Secondly, you did not report the matter to the police.
Lastly, you did not offer any kind of hearing and support to the victim’s parents. Is this the school’s policy towards every child and any parent?”
“When I wrote a concerned letter about my child’s safety in school to you, Aban Bana, the other Trustee, and the School Principal, Anahita Landers, I trusted that you would respond to me and assuage my fears. Instead, you handed my mail to Patrick Brillant thus breaking my trust. In fact, in that email response, Patrick Brillant lied saying that there was no case and no chargesheet, when the chargesheet had already been filed. Of course, he went on to compare himself with Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and exhorted me to tell my child that Patrick Brillant is innocent. And you just stood there as a bystander. Is this how the school treats every parent with a concern for their child?” Kakar wrote.
“You have allowed the school and its machinery to get behind an accused so that you could stifle the voice of a three-year-old. You allowed Patrick Brillant (out on bail) to chair PTA meetings; allowed his current wife and his ex-wife who are teachers in the school to proactively collect money for the accused and blatantly involve other teachers and official parent WhatsApp groups to garner support for him. Is it fair to float rumours and conjectures about the complainant – mother of a now four-year-old – in these groups? Is this how the school invokes trust in every parent with their child in the school?,” she asks.
“The most disheartening view was school functionaries and pre-primary teachers standing behind the accused at the High Court hearings. How could you have allowed teachers who are supposed to protect children actually stand behind a man accused of raping a child? Is this the school versus a 3 yr old, whom in fact they were responsible for?”
“I stopped sending my child to school because I had lost faith in you the day you broke my trust – by allowing Patrick Brilliant to not only see my mail but also to respond to me and worst still have unhindered access to the class where my four-year-old child studied.”
Earler, the Supreme Court, on 13 April, asked Brillant to surrender in three days in connection with the sexual assault on a three-year-old girl.