It was the house of a Class IX student that became the safe haven for a paedophile cab driver and four teenaged boys who allegedly sexually exploited three children — two boys aged 7 and 10 years and a 12-year-old girl in central Delhi.
The police said the main accused, Lalit Ratawal (38), took advantage of the fact that the children did not have a father. The police said the class IX student who used to take the same cab was made a part of the heinous act when the accused realised that he had the same inclination. The student got three other friends to join him.
The accused would plan the act in such a manner which ensured that none of the three children missed classes for a long time.
As the class IX student and his friends are juveniles, no case can be registered against them.
“Both the parents of the Class IX student are teachers and were not present at home during the day. Ratawal along with this student and his three friends would then take the sibling to his house, sedate them and then sexually exploit them," said Jaspal Singh, deputy commissioner of police (central).
The police said the mother became suspicious when she saw her children often in a “dazed and incoherent state”.
“The mother told us that she had even informed the principal of the school but no action was taken,” said a senior police officer. The officiating principal of the school where the girl studies said that she joined a fortnight ago and has not received any such report.
The mother, a widow, lives off rent that she earns from three rooms.
“The accused was aware that the children did not have a father and took advantage of this. He is married and has two children and lives in the same area,” said the officer.
Earlier, all the three children used to go the same school but six months ago the mother shifted the girl to another school.
The police said they have seized the mobile phone of all the four accused to gather more evidence.