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After minor girl’s rape, parents demand CCTVs at Navi Mumbai school

The accused caught hold of the nine-year-old girl when she was entering school. He covered the girl’s mouth with a handkerchief and took her to the toilet used by the watchman and raped her there.

mumbai Updated: Sep 01, 2018 08:54 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times, Navi Mumbai
A protester holds up a placard against anti-women crimes in Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/ HT File)

Around 200 parents staged a protest at the private school in Vashi on Friday where a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an unidentified person on Tuesday.

The accused caught hold of the girl when she was entering school. He covered the girl’s mouth with a handkerchief and took her to the toilet used by the watchman and raped her there.

A similar incident took place in the same school last year, in which a teacher allegedly sexually assaulted a minor student. The police had registered a first information report (FIR) and arrested that teacher.

Deputy commissioner of police (zone I) Sudhakar Pathare said, “It is true that a similar incident took place in the same school and the accused teacher was also arrested.”

The parents on Friday mainly raised safety issues inside the school premises and asked the authorities to take the requisite measures as soon as possible.

The protest was peaceful initially, but later some of the parents started arguing with the school authorities. The authorities informed the police and a team led by a sub-inspector rushed to the spot. The police had to intervene in the discussions to pacify the parents.

The parents mainly made three demands. First, to install CCTV cameras on the school premises within a week. Second, to hire women watchmen. Third, to keep only the main gate of the school operational. Presently, the school has three gates and people can enter and exit through all three gates.

Later, a group of parents held a meeting with the school authorities inside the school. They scheduled a parents-teachers meeting at the school at 4pm on Tuesday.

“Three of my kids come to this school. If such a heinous crime takes place inside the school compound, my children are also at risk. The school authorities have a lax attitude about the safety of the students. They should install CCTV cameras on their premises immediately,” Sitaram Niwalkar, 59, a parent.

Rajendra Jadhav, 40, another parent said, “An unidentified person can enter the school compound in broad daylight and rape a minor girl inside the toilet. Just imagine the kind surveillance the school has right now. They should ensure that such an incident does not take place in future.”

The school authorities however, said CCTV cameras had not been installed due to “certain limitations” on their part. “We are cooperating with the police with all necessary information. There are certain limitations on our part and because of that CCTV cameras could not be installed so far,” said a director of the school, on condition of anonymity.

When asked about the demands made by the parents, she said, “We don’t want to say anything about that at this moment.” She also refused to comment on the incident that took place last year.

The school is mostly attended by children from middle-class and lower middle-class families. The school has over 1,000 students.

“As far as this incident is concerned we are still investigating case, but have not been able arrest the accused. At this point I can’t say if we have identified the accused. We hope to make some breakthrough soon,” the officer further said.

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 08:51 IST