Nursery student ‘sexually assaulted’ in Nainital, 2 held
Top cop says it seems the girl was ‘assaulted’ over several days.Updated: Sep 22, 2018 00:04 IST
Days after the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a boarding school in Dehradun came to light, a case of alleged sexual assault of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl in a school bus has emerged in Nainital district’s Kathgodam area.
Amit Shrivastava, city superintendent of police Haldwani, said they arrested the accused, the driver of the school bus Ratan Singh and conductor Pradeep Joshi on Friday evening.
They are being interrogated, Shrivastava said adding they have registered a case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 against the two accused.
He said it seems the girl has been allegedly assaulted over several days. Her parents took her to a doctor on September 17 after she complained of pain in her private parts, he said. The girl also hinted that the men in schoolbus assaulted her.
“Captain (retd) Anil Gupta, a social worker, who came to know about the incident from the doctor who examined the nursery student, lodged a formal complaint. After that we approached the school authorities and got details of the school bus driver and conductor who used to ferry the girl,” he said.
He said a woman sub-inspector, Lata Bisht, has been made the investigating officer in the case and she tried to speak to the girl. “But the girl seems too scared,” he said. Shrivastava said the statements of the school authorities, parents of the girl and the doctor who checked her are being recorded.
Kamal Hassan, station house officer, Kathgodam police station, said after the medical report comes and the questioning is completed, they would decide which IPC sections need to be added in the FIR.
Nainital district magistrate Vinod Kumar Suman said the authorities would issue notices to all schools on strict implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines for school buses. “Action will be taken against those not following the guidelines,” he said.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Janmejay Khanduri said investigations have begun and that justice would be served to the girl.
The incident has shocked people in the area with parents being worried for the safety of their children. CS Rawat, a parent from Nainital, said: “The Supreme Court guidelines on a woman attendant and CCTVs on buses are not followed by school buses in the area. We feel helpless as we can’t stop sending our children to school.”
In May this year, the Uttarakhand State Commission for Child Rights (SCPCR) in a letter, asked the Uttarakhand government to assign the task of checking the violation of safety norms by school buses to police, if the transport department could not handle it. The child rights body, during an inspection of school buses, found they were not following the Supreme Court’s guidelines. In November 2017, the transport department issued a circular on strict implementation of the guidelines.
There are around 500 school buses operating in the Haldwani area, according to Suresh Singh Duseela, president Kumaon Bus Union Haldwani.“This is a shocking incident. We should ensure a safe environment for our children. Authorities should ensure that there is a woman attendant in school buses and check the antecedents of drivers and conductors,” he said.
First Published: Sep 22, 2018 00:04 IST