Complaints and counter-complaints of sexual abuse involving three boys who are students of a top South Mumbai school have been filed with the Gamdevi police, who have registered cases under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality.
The first complaint was filed by parents of a 10-year-old class 5 student who said two class 6 students touched him inappropriately when he was inside the toilet during the school recess last Wednesday. The 10-year-old has attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and has a teacher as his shadow at all times, except when he uses the restroom.
According to the police, the boy’s mother came to know about the incident when she quizzed him about what was happening at school. On Friday, the parents went to the school and informed the authorities. The parents of the two class 6 students were called to the school and the matter snowballed.
The school’s chairman said they reported the matter to the police after the 10-year-old’s parents demanded expulsion of the other two students. “We cannot expel students without any evidence and since the parents alleged sexual assault, we reported the matter to the police,” he said.
All three sets of parents went to the Gamdevi police station and registered complaints against each other.
An officer from Gamdevi police station requesting anonymity said the class 5 student accused the two class 6 students of touching his genitals while he was peeing. The class 6 students accused him of doing the same to them and their parents filed a counter complaint.
The Gamdevi police have registered a case under section 377 of the IPC along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
“In such cases, we do not arrest anyone. If someone is found at fault, they are just sent to a children’s correction home. On Saturday, the three students were sent to Nagpada hospital for a medical check-up,” added an officer. The school submitted the CCTV footage of the corridor outside the toilet to the police. The chairman added that the child attended school for two days after the alleged incident. “He even participated in a school debate, gave a speech and seemed normal,” he said. Good touch, bad touch lessons are also held in the school, he added.