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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Mumbai: Parents accuse bus cleaner of molesting kindergarten child

Ananya Bhattacharya and Farhan Sheikh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 25, 2014
First Published: 12:10 IST(25/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:14 IST(25/7/2014)

Parents of a senior kindergarten student filed a noncognisable offence against a bus cleaner of a school in Kandivli earlier this week, alleging their child had been abused by the cleaner. The school said it fired the cleaner from the job after the complaint but was unaware of how the incident took place.

According to the complaint by the parents, after bringing the child home from school, the mother spotted marks on his cheek and lips. The parents approached the school and inquired about the incident.

“The child pointed to three people. One of them wasn’t on the premises that day and another was on duty on another floor. So, the parents zeroed in on the cleaner. We have fired that cleaner but the child never directly accused him in front of us,” said Amita Katyal, the principal of the school.

The parents also complained of the child crying and refusing to go to school but Katyal said, “He is back in school already and playing with all the other children. He has not complained to the teachers or counsellors at all.”

There are CCTVs installed on the school property but not where the buses are parked. So there is no evidence to confirm whether the boy was abused.

“We have workshops for all faculty and housekeeping staff to train them on dealing with children appropriately. Since there is no proof, I don’t think any misconduct has occurred,” said Katyal.

After their investigation, the Kandivli police said that the boy was waiting for his parents after school got over and went and sat

In light of the accusation, the school immediately fires the cleaner and the parents then take him to the police station and file a noncognisable offense. The police question him and find that the man had no malicious intentions and the boy was not molested in the bus. Noticing a new boy, the cleaner handed him over to a school teacher.

The police recorded the statement of the teacher who confirmed that while leaving, the cleaner only kissed the boy’s hand.

“The investigations revealed that the man had no malicious intentions and the boy was not molested,” said M Pandharmise, senior inspector at Kandivli police station. The boy’s parents were not available for comment.


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