“Sir told me all children had to do so in the school and I also had to follow it. If I resisted, he beat me up with a cane.”
This is how 11-year-old Sonam (name changed), student of a private school in Jaipur, starts her tale of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of the school’s owner/principal. “Ganda kaam karta thaa,” (He used to do dirty acts), she adds in between sobs.
On Monday night, police detained accused Babu Lal Sharma, 52, and booked him under section 376 of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, hours after the alleged incident of sexual abuse came to light.
Sharma is accused of repeatedly raping Sonam, a class 2 student, and molesting two other students of class 4 and 5. A few more girl students of the school have since then come forward with complaints of molestation and sexual abuse.
DCP Rahul Jain said the medical test report has hinted that the girl is not virgin but is silent on recent sexual activity. He said the medical board has taken vaginal swab for further tests and added the accused could be arrested on the basis of the report.
The incident came to light on Monday afternoon when Sonam’s classmate saw the principal with her through a window of the accused’s office.
The boy reported the incident to his brothers who further alerted the victim’s parents and other people of the locality. (HT has video recording of the boy’s statement).
Sonam revealed that the abuse started when she entered Class 2 about five months ago. “Sir used to send some student to call me to his office where he used to touch my body and do dirty acts,” she said.
She claimed to have told a female maths teacher about the abuse but was allegedly asked to ignore it. The accused, who hails from Jaipur, lives with his wife, a married son and a daughter.
Narendra Singh, president of NGO Jagrati Foundation, who is assisting the family in the case, accused the police of trying to weaken the case by scaring the parents. Police, however, denied the accusations.