The chairman of an upscale private school in Bangalore, in southern India, has been arrested for negligence over the rape of a six-year-old girl, earlier this month, by two staff members, media reports said Wednesday.
Rustom Kerawala, who has been charged with negligence for failing to ensure the safety of the children in school, was arrested in the city of Daman on the country's west coast, late on Tuesday night, and was brought to the city early Wednesday. A case has reportedly been registered against Vibgyor High School, in the city's eastern suburbs where the rape reportedly took place, for delaying informing the victim’s parents and the police about the incident. The school had also reportedly failed to provide surveillance camera footage of the campus.
“We have booked the school chairman for destruction of evidence, denial of information to police and a criminal act on a minor under his custody,” city police commissioner M.N. Reddi, reportedly said.
A skating instructor, only identified by local media by his first name -- Mustafa -- was arrested on Sunday in connection with the rape of the minor and a laptop, which belonged to him and contained indecent videos of children, was also seized. Local media, citing authorities, also reported that one other person was also involved in the rape.
"We have stepped up the investigation and efforts are on to nab the other accused as we are also probing other staff members," Reddi reportedly said.
Mustafa was fired from his earlier job at another school for behaving inappropriately with students.
"After repeated warnings by way of counseling and memos, when it was found that Mustafa continued to touch girls while he guided them through their sporting activity, his services were terminated forthwith," Shanthi Menon, principal of The Deen's Academy School, said in a statement released on the school's Facebook page. "There was no culpable incident whatsoever that required Deens to report him to the police."
Parents protesting the incident blamed the school, which hired Mustafa in 2011, of failing to conduct a thorough background check of the 30-year-old man, before appointing him.
The incident reportedly took place on July 2 and came to light only on July 14 after a police complaint was lodged. The parents of the girl reportedly found out about the rape only when she complained of stomach pain some days after the incident, and was taken to a hospital where a doctor confirmed she had been sexually assaulted.
The school, which has been closed for nearly a week since parents began protesting outside the school, has been reportedly asked by the government to resume classes. Meanwhile, some parents too have asked for the school to reopen so their children do not fall behind in their studies.
"We are going hammer and tongs in the case against the school management and the accused. We want to send a strong message to everyone that any crime against children, girls and women in schools, colleges or anywhere will be dealt with stringently and their perpetrators punished severely,” Reddi reportedly said.