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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

School van driver accused of rape bid on 4-year-old girl arrested in Ludhiana

High drama was witnessed as parents of kids studying at the private school blame authorities for inaction

cities Updated: Sep 10, 2019 22:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A cop trying to pacify protesters in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
A cop trying to pacify protesters in Ludhiana on Tuesday.(HT Photo)
         

The school van driver who was accused of attempting to rape a four-year-old girl was arrested amid high drama on Tuesday.

Confirming the arrest, Mullanpur Dakha deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurbans Singh Bains said, “We have arrested the accused van driver hailing from Khaira Bet and registered an FIR against him under Section 354 (molestation) of the IPC and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.”

Earlier in the day, at least 150 people, most of them parents of children studying in the private school whose van the accused used to drive, had stormed in the room of principal, alleging inaction in the case. The parents alleged that authorities did not take any action against the accused driver and conductor, who attempted to rape the four-year-old student of their school.

High drama was witnessed on the school premises at 11am as parents entered into a heated argument with the school principal and teachers, blaming them for violating norms set by the CBSE by not deputing any female attendant in school buses and vans. To control the situation, school authorities called the police, who reached the spot and tried to pacify the parents. The protest of parents continued till 2.30pm.

Infuriated parents vandalise property

After one of the school management members allegedly suggested to strike a compromise, infuriated parents damaged some of the school properties. One of the parents, Jyoti, said, “Justice should be done to the victim’s parents. The school authorities should have taken action against the driver.” Avneet Singh from Salem Tabri said, “My children travel in the school bus daily. Parents have repeatedly requested to depute female attendants in buses and vans, but to no avail.”

To control the situation, school authorities called the police, who reached the spot and tried to pacify the parents. The protest of parents continued till 2.30pm.
To control the situation, school authorities called the police, who reached the spot and tried to pacify the parents. The protest of parents continued till 2.30pm. ( HT Photo )

What girl’s mother had complained

Mother of the girl, who is a nursery student of the school, had said that her daughter usually came home at 12.15pm, but on Friday she arrived at 12.40pm. “When she complained of pain in her private parts next day, I approached the school authorities, who refused to take action against the accused,” she said, adding that she then approached the police.

Classes suspended

The school authorities have suspended classes for two days. School principal said, “The girl’s mother had informed us about the incident on Saturday. The driver and conductor were questioned regarding the allegations, which they had refuted. In the evening, police had also contacted us and we provided them with the CCTV footage. The driver and conductor were sent to the police station as well.”

She said female teachers used to accompany students travelling in buses and vans till the last drop. She, however, admitted that on Friday, no female teacher was present in the van.  

First Published: Sep 10, 2019 22:26 IST

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