Rape case: School chairman arrested in Daman and Diu, brought to Bangalore
Zee Media Bureau
Bangalore: In an important development in the case that has shaken the city, police on Tuesday night arrested chairman of Vibgyor High School, Rustom Kerrawala, Police Commissioner MN Reddi informed on Wednesday.
"Our investigation team arrested Kerawalla at Daman & Diu off Goa on Tuesday night and brought him to the city on Wednesday for his culpability in the heinous crime," Reddi told reporters here.
The incident of alleged rape of a six-year-girl by the skating instructor and one more staff member of the school on July 02 within the school premises has triggered protests in the city.
A case has also been registered against the elite school in the city`s upscale eastern suburb for not informing the victim`s parents and the jurisdictional police about the incident, which occurred July 2 in a classroom in its premises.
"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," Reddi said. Kerrawala has been arrested under Section 201 of IPC, Section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), he added.
One of the accused, Mustafa, 30, a skating instructor in the school, was arrested on July 20.
Mustafa has also been accused of being a pedophile, as pornographic videos of children being raped were found in his mobile and laptop.
"We have stepped up the investigation and efforts are on to nab the other accused as we are also probing other staff members," Reddi said.
Denying delay or cover-up in the case, the top cop said no stone would be left unturned in unravelling the truth, bringing culprits to book and doing justice to the kid and her parents.
"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 claimed.
The case has left Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rattled.
Miffed by the non-stop media coverage of the spate of rapes in the city, Siddaramaiah had on Tuesday asked reporters if they had no news other than `rape` to cover.
In the wake of mounting protests against the government over the failure of police in ensuring safety and security of women, Siddaramaiah assured: "Investigations in the rape cases are going on. We will not spare anyone committing crimes against women.”
Reddi had on Tuesday visited the school and discussed with parents their problems and measures needed for children`s safety.
The school has remained shut since July 17 following protests by parents over the management`s attempt to hush up the heinous crime and its failure to take action against the accused.
The school has been directed to employ adequate women security guards and prepare background profile of all staff members and those employed on contract for non-curricular and non-academic activities.
The school has also been directed to stop allowing outsiders to use its swimming pool before and after school hours and stop private tankers from drawing water from its tubewells on its vast grounds.
"The school should also maintain full records of all security guards and drivers employed to operate its fleet of transport vehicles used to pick and drop the students from and to homes. They should also train and sensitise the non-teaching staff on dealing with wards to ensure their safety and security," Reddi had said yesterday.
The parents also complained to the commissioner the school management had forced them to give an undertaking it would not be responsible for any untoward incident, loss, damage or injury to their wards in the school premises.
The National Human Rights Commission has asked the Karnataka government to send a report on the incident.
As public anger grew, the government had effected a reshuffle at the top police echelon on Monday, transferring Raghavendra Auradkar and bringing in Reddi in his place as Police Commissioner.
The Karnataka government has also written to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations Board to derecognise the school.
The school, affiliated to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), has eight branches across the city and also runs similar institutions at Hyderabad in Telangana, Kolhapur, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Vadodara in Gujarat.
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