Trustee of prominent Mumbai school booked for raping 3-year-old student
A 57-year-old founder-trustee of a prominent Andheri school and a nursery teacher have been booked for allegedly raping a three-year-old student studying on the premises. The director is of foreign origin and is currently out of the country, the police said.
According to the police, the incident took place late last year. The teacher took the girl to the trustee’s room, where he sexually assaulted her, the police said. This amounts to rape under the section 376 (2) of the IPC.
The school principal refused to comment on the case, but said that they are cooperating with the police. “The complaint was lodged by the parent. We are giving the cops whatever they want,” the principal said.
According to allegations in the FIR, earlier this year, the girl’s mother noticed a change in her daughter’s behaviour and began questioning her.
The girl then told the mother about the assault, the police said.
On May 18, the mother filed a rape case under section 376 (2) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act against the trustee and the teacher.
The FIR also mentions the accused sexually assaulted another three-year-old boy. The boy’s parents have been contacted by the police to verify the allegation.
The police have also spoken to the trustee’s wife, who expressed shock over the allegation, but has supported her husband.
She said he will soon return to India.
The girl has undergone a medical test, the police said.
On Monday, around 3pm, the founder-trustee sent an email to parents, after the news of the police complaint was telecast. “As (the school) grows and expands sharing light on education, the darkness of the material world also clings to us,” read the statement.
The statement further said, “In the same way that I prepare (the school) students for the unexpected, I am preparing myself to face the unexpected so that truth will ultimately prevail…I am confident that in due course it would be revealed and clarified that the accusation is unfounded.”
Parents of the school are doubtful about the veracity of the allegations. “It might be a case of misunderstanding,” said the parent of a Class 8 student. The parent said there have never been any previous complaints against the founder. “He has been with the school for 20 years and has never before been accused of untoward behaviour,” said the parent.
“It is impossible for such an incident to have taken place. I have interacted with the trustee several times, I have seen him around children,” said another parent, whose six-year-old daughter studies at the school. “There is certainly something amiss in the complaint. It could be a result of over anxiety or reading too much into an incident.”
“ I am relatively new to the school and my interactions with the founder have been limited. His or any teacher’s behaviour has never seemed alarming to me, but I also believe that a parent will not make such accusations lightly, without any evidence,” said another parent.