Bangalore: A 31-year-old skating instructor at a public school here, hailing from Bihar, was arrested on Sunday in connection with the alleged rape of a six-year-old student, six days after the incident came to light triggering public outrage.
Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar announced the arrest of Mustaffa after interrogation of eight persons, who were detained for questioning.
"Mustaffa, 31, is the main accused. He was arrested after interrogation," Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Pranab Mohanty told PTI, adding this would lead to more arrests in the case.
This is the first arrest in the horrific incident which occurred on July 2 and came to light on July 14.
Her mother found out about the assault several days later, when a private nursing home hinted that the child could have been raped. A police complaint was then registered.
Auradkar said police have recovered a mobile phone and laptop which contained obscene pictures of children from Mustaffa, who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar and had been living in Bangalore for the last 20 years.
"The laptop had videos of schoolchildren being raped downloaded from Internet. This shows his state of mind," he said.
The accused would be produced before a court tomorrow, said Auradkar, who had come under mounting pressure and faced public ire over alleged police inaction in making any arrests and taking action against Vibgyor School where the incident happened. The high-profile school had faced allegations of trying to hush up the case.
The police action came as protests continued for the fourth day today. Civil society activists and parents of students studying at the Vibgyor School staged protests at Freedom Park here.
Angry parents in the IT hub have taken to the streets and have been backed by social media, demanding tough action, not just against the alleged attackers but also against the school for "gross negligence".
As a "punishment" for misbehaving, the victim was reportedly asked to leave her class and stay in an empty room used for storing gym equipment where she was allegedly assaulted.
Auradkar said the accused had worked in another school earlier and it had to be verified whether he had the tendency of downloading obscene pictures of children.
Facing the heat of public anger again today, Auradkar addressed the protesters, assuring them that action would be taken against the guilty and school management for their alleged "inaction".
He said as per guidelines framed to provide safety to school children, senior police officials, including Deputy Police Commissioners, will hold meetings with the school managements from tomorrow.
A rash of rape cases in the city in recent days had triggered public outrage and revulsion over rising number of sexual offences against women and children, with the government coming under fire for not doing enough to curb them.
Apart from the school incident, a 22-year woman was allegedly raped on July 10 midnight when she was seated in a car with her friend as four persons forcibly entered their car and drove them away with one of them committing the crime.