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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Disabled teen alleges sexual assault by school staff member in Pune

Having joined the school around two months ago, the suspect used to work in the social sector, according to the project director.

pune Updated: Feb 28, 2019 15:07 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
According to the police, the 14-year-old girl, who is not a native of Pune, narrated the incident to her mother when the latter asked for the reason her daughter not wanting to return to the residential school.
According to the police, the 14-year-old girl, who is not a native of Pune, narrated the incident to her mother when the latter asked for the reason her daughter not wanting to return to the residential school. (HT representational photo )
         

A 58-year-old administration staff member of a residential school for disabled children in Kothrud was arrested for sexual assault of a minor student. According to the police, the 14-year-old girl, who is not a native of Pune, narrated the incident to her mother when the latter asked for the reason her daughter not wanting to return to the residential school. However, the founder of the organisation that runs the residential school has refuted the charges saying the girl is a habitual liar.

“The minor went home from the school and told her mother that she does not want to go back. When her mother asked the reason, she said that the school’s administration staff behaves badly with her. While she has been a resident of the school for four years, the said staff joined it a couple of months ago,” said an officer at Kothrud police station.

The police arrested the staff from his residence in Katraj area in the early hours of Thursday. He was produced in a local court and remanded to police custody. The girl and the school staff will undergo a medical test at Sassoon General Hospital.

“Her relatives had told us that the minor’s father used to ‘make money off her’. We do not know the specifics, but the girl’s relatives have told us about this. She is a case of borderline mental retardation,” said the project director of the school whose daughter is also a resident at the school.

Having joined the school around two months ago, the suspect used to work in the social sector, according to the project director.

The case was discussed by senior police inspector Pratibha Joshi with Mangesh Shinde, deputy commissioner of police, zone-III.

“Her mother brought her here. We asked her many questions, but she said she was abused by the said staffer,” said a police official.

The 25-year-old three-floor residential school that houses children with disabilities has 18 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at the campus.

“The police are welcome to check the CCTV footage. The girl is a habitual liar. As far as the allegation of him taking the minor home is concerned, we maintain a log of entry and exit of the students in a separate file. In fact, the inmates are rarely allowed to leave the campus,” said the project director, who in his eighties.

A case under relevant sub-sections of Section 376 of Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 was registered at Kothrud police station Tuesday midnight. Assistant police inspector Payal Panchabhai of Kothrud police station is investigating the case. However, she refused to comment on the issue.

Child sexual assault cases at Kothrud police station

The Kothrud police station has also received two other cases of child sexual abuse. A Class 10 student was sexually assaulted by a man on Sunday night. The police have formed three teams to apprehend the youth suspected to be between the age of 21-24 years, according to senior police inspector Patibha Joshi.

A minor girl has filed a case against a man who impregnated her. The case was registered at Bhosari police station under Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner’s jurisdiction over a month and a half ago and was later transferred to Kothrud police station under Pune police commissioner as the incident happened in the jurisdiction of Kothrud police station. While the Kothrud police are looking for the man booked in the case registered on Sunday, another man was arrested and the case was transferred from Bhosari police station to Kothrud police station.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 15:07 IST