Mumbai: Karate teacher gets 7 yrs RI for molesting minor twin students

A special court on Monday sentenced a 45-year-old Karate instructor to seven years rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting two 10-year-old twin sisters in 2015, saying here is an example of 'fence itself grazing the crops'.

Designated judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Rekha N. Pandhare said in her judgment that while leaving their children at school or an institute like a Karate class which the accused was running, parents are confident that children would be safe in the custody of the teacher. Judge Pandhare said here is an example where “fence itself is grazing the crops”. “The accused was supposed to take care of the victims as well as he was supposed to teach the girls to defend themselves from others, but here the accused himself has become the assailant and sexually assaulted both his students,” the court observed.

It noted that the children had insisted they wanted to join the Karate classes of which pamphlets were distributed in their school and parents had conceded that martial arts was needed to defend oneself from danger and admitted them.

Judge Pandhare further said that the man had “left such a scar on the psyche” of the victims that they would never be able to join such classes, much less for defending themselves. The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000 on him to pay each of the victims.

As per the complaint filed in Parksite police station, the girls had joined the Karate classes three days before the incident. The man had asked other students to meditate and then asked one of the twins to go to the changing room. There, he had asked her to remove her clothes and then touched her inappropriately when she removed her Karate uniform by slipping his hand into her clothes. The girl came to know he had done so with her sister as well. The incident came to light when their mother asked them to go to the Karate class and they refused.

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