NDMC school rape sparks protest in Delhi, parents demand answers
More than 200 people protest six-year-old’s rape. Parents say no one from school administration have met them, accuse them of trying hide incident.delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2018 03:34 IST
More than 200 people gathered in front of a New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) school in the national capital on Friday to protest the rape of a six-year-old girl on the premises.
The protesters, mostly parents and guardians of children who study in the school where an electrician allegedly raped the girl, demanded adequate protection for their wards.
The agitators allegedly also tried to vandalise school property, spurring heavy police deployment in the area to maintain law and order. They said the school authorities refused to meet them even as they demanded an assurance from the principal that the school install CCTV cameras, deploy security guards and women helpers to escort primary section students to toilets.
The accused, who allegedly raped the girl at the school pump house, has been arrested.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo motu cognisance in the case and sought a detailed report, to be submitted within four weeks, from Delhi chief secretary and the commissioner of police on whether the schools in the city followed the security guidelines issued by authorities.
Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal also sought an action taken report from the police. “Strongest action should be taken against the culprit. They should be hanged within six months under the new law,” she said.
The agitators expressed multiple concerns. “Have all the employees of the school undergone police verification? Does any woman helper accompany minor students when they go to toilets? Who takes care of students when they leave school at the end of the day? The principal must answer,” said a man, who had come to pick up his niece who studies in Class 5.
The father of another student said that last year he had complained to the principal about a school guard but nothing was done. “The guard’s conduct was suspicious. When I complained to the principal, she took no action. The school staff instead made counter allegations against me. If children are raped in their school, where will they be safe?” he said.
The parents were also agitated that no one from the school administration had come forward to hear their concern. The mother of a class seven student said “unless the principal addresses our concern and promises adequate safety measures, we will not send our children back to school”.
“The kids will not come to school. The teachers and principal will have to ensure action and better safety measures,” said another parent.
Parents also alleged that the school administration tried to prevent students from getting to know about the incident by telling them that some shooting for a television serial is going on when the media started gathering on Friday noon. “They are trying to hide the incident. The students are petrified. When my child told us about it, we turned suspicious and questioned the school. That is when we came to know about the incident,” said the father of a Class 8 student.
First Published: Aug 11, 2018 03:33 IST