In yet another incident that raises doubts about the safety of children travelling in school buses, a 24-year-old attendant of a school bus has been arrested for allegedly molesting a three-year-old girl.
The attendant had kissed the child on her lips and molested her a few days ago, the Malad police revealed on Monday. The incident came to light on Thursday when the three-year-old kissed her father inappropriately. When he quizzed her about it, the child said the “bus uncle” had taught her, following which her parents made enquiries and approached the police.
The incident comes close on the heels of the Juhu school bus case, where a bus attendant was arrested after he allegedly molested a four-year-old girl on the school bus on January 15.
“The child could not tell us when exactly the incident took place, but after she named “the bus uncle”, we arrested the attendant,” said Maruti Sangle, sub-inspector, Malad police station.
The police are questioning the accused to determine whether he sexually assaulted the child. While medical reports have ruled out rape, the victim has complained of pain, said Uttam Khairmode, assistant commissioner of police (Goregaon division). “We are interrogating him. So far, he has confessed to having kissed the girl.”
The police have also recorded the woman bus attendant’s statement to ascertain if she had witnessed the inappropriate behaviour. Though she has denied that anything happened in her presence, police suspect the mole-station took place in the bus itself.
The three-year-old, the only daughter of Malad-based businessman, attends the playgroup, which is around 500 metres from her home. The accused had been working at the playschool as a bus attendant for the past eight months, the police said.
He has been remanded in police custody till Tuesday.