Based on the complaint of four schoolgirls aged four to 12, a 26-year school-bus driver was arrested on Wednesday evening by the Powai police on charges of outraging modesty.
The girls had told officials of Prime Academy school at Marol, Andheri (East), that the driver had sexually assaulted them. The accused — Appa Bhimrao Mohite, a resident of Park Site in Vikhroli — was arrested after Chaula Joshi, director of the school, registered a police complaint.
The victims have alleged that the driver used to sexually assault them since the last four days on the pretext of helping them board and alight the school bus.
When he did it again after school hours on Wednesday and even sat among them while a new driver took the steering, the students complained to school authorities. Mohite has been working with the school for more than six months.
“Mohite touched the girls’ private parts, after which they complained to the teachers,” said investigating officer Police Sub-Inspector G.Y. Bane of the Powai police station. The issue was immediately taken up with the school management and a police complaint was lodged in the evening.
“Such cases scar the minds of children and thus need immediate action,” said Police Inspector (Crime) Tatyasaheb Bansode.
“I wanted the driver to learn a lesson,” said Joshi on Thursday. “The girls came to me after the incident and I took the matter to the police.”
However, the police have not questioned the bus contractor who had hired the accused, apparently without checking his antecedents. “What can the employer do if the driver is a pervert?” said Bansode.