Who Will Watch The Watchmen? 51-year-old school watchman held for sexual assault on five-year-old

According to the Navghar police, the 51-year-old accused has been employed with the school, which is run by a private institution, for the last 30 years and is one of their oldest employees.

Gautam S. MengleUpdated: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 09:34 PM IST
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Who Will Watch The Watchmen? 51-year-old school watchman held for sexual assault on five-year-old | Pixabay

The Navghar police in Mulund have arrested a watchman cum peon with a school in Mulund for allegedly sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl on the school premises on Sunday.

According to the Navghar police, the 51-year-old accused has been employed with the school, which is run by a private institution, for the last 30 years and is one of their oldest employees. The police said that the school does not have a compound wall and children from neighbouring areas regularly come to the school premises to play on its playground.

“On Sunday evening, the victim went to the playground and the accused offered her a chocolate. She went with him and he took her to a room in the school building, where he sexually assaulted her. He then left her there and went home. The victim, too, went home and told her parents about the incident,” an officer with the Navghar police said.

The victim's parents rushed with her to the police station and the police immediately took her to a government hospital for a medical test. Subsequently, an FIR was registered against the accused.

“The victim did not know the accused but she gave us his description. We made inquiries at the school and the management told us that the description fit one of their employees, which helped us identify the accused,” senior police inspector Sunil Kamble, Navghar police station said.

Acting on the police's instructions, an official from the school called up the accused and asked him to come to the school under the pretext of some work. The accused reached the school and was immediately taken into custody. After preliminary inquiries established his culpability, he was placed under arrest and charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The accused was subsequently produced in the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Mulund and remanded in police custody till May 30.

The police are now probing whether the accused has similarly targetted any other minors in the past.

“The school playground is frequented by numerous children on a daily basis and the accused was the only school employee present on the school premises after working hours. We are interrogating the accused to find out if he has committed similar offences prior to this,” an officer said.

The police are also considering sending teams in the residential areas surrounding the school to make inquiries with children to find this out. Given the sensitive nature of the investigation, this job will be assigned to female officers and constables, and help of the parents will be sought to take the children in confidence, sources said.

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