A nine-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted in a washroom of a Dadar school by a 19-year-old contract employee on Friday evening.
The Shivaji Park police said the incident took place a day before the visit of state education minister Vinod Tawde to the school’s annual cultural event. They have arrested the man, who is attached with the caterer of the school canteen.
The police said that the accused and three others have been staying in the school auditorium for about four months now. Though he is an employee of the caterer managing the school canteen, he has been in-charge of the school hall.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the girl missed her school bus and was handed over to her class teacher. After her parents were informed, her teacher left her in the attendant’s quarters in the school premises and left.
“The attendant’s son was taking care of the girl as the woman was yet to arrive. The boy soon left for his tuition and the attendant arrived minutes later. When she went to fill some water, the girl went to the washroom alone on the second floor near the auditorium. This is when the accused spotted her,” said Gulab Patil, inspector with Shivaji Park police.
The police added that when the girl’s aunt reached the school to take her home, she saw the accused going down the staircase and enquired about her. He was evasive. The girl was later found bleeding in the washroom. The police were informed soon after.
However, when HT spoke to the principal, he claimed to have no knowledge of outsourced employees staying in the school premises.
“Ours is a semi-government aided school, headed by a trust. They may have leased out the hall to the caterers, about which I have not been told. So I did not know these people actually lived here,” the principal said.
A case has been registered under section 376 of the Indian Penal code, which is punishment for rape and also under relevant sections of Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).