The principal of the playschool where a three-and-a-half-year-old was sexually abused has been booked for abetment under POCSO, along with a class teacher and an administrator at the school.
After the alleged sexual abuse of the child by a staffer in the school came to light on February 17, several other parents of children who attend the playschool have also come forward to file complaints. This after their children revealed that they too have faced abuse, allegedly at the hands of Manju, a staffer at the playschool.
As of Thursday, eight FIRs have been filed in the case against the accused abuser Manju and others at the school. In the initial complaint, Manju was booked under POCSO.
The children, majority of them girls, are all aged between two and four years. The medical test results of the child whose parents complained first has been submitted to the police by a private hospital.
A social worker who deals with child sexual abuse cases told TNM, â€śThis is the first time that I have seen any instance where so many children from the same school have come forward with complaints. What is however puzzling is that the police is filing multiple FIRs. They could have filed a single FIR and added all the other children as additional witnessed and also charged him for aggravated assault.â€ť
â€śWe filed FIRs against Manju, the principal Dr Veena Ashok, the school administrator Preetha and a class teacher named Ayesha. Cases have been registered under Section 17 (abetment) of POCSO against the principal, teacher and administrator,â€ť said one of the parents who had filed a complaint.
While Manju was booked, and taken into custody on Friday, the Marathalli police booked the others after angry parents camped outside the police station and demanded action.
The parents were also upset that the Principal had not initially been booked under POCSO, and only under sections of the IPC. The Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru City later ensured that Section 17 of the POCSO Act were applied on the Principal, a class teacher and an administrator.
According to the parent of a 2-and-a-half-year-old, his child had informed the class teacher, Ayesha about Manju, but the teacher chose to dismiss the issue.
The school administrator, Preetha, also had knowledge of Manjuâ€™s actions through complaints from students, but she chose to let Manju off the hook after issuing a warning â€śto not repeat such actions again,â€ť parents alleged.
â€śAfter the children came forward and began recounting their stories, we came to know that several children had informed Preetha about Manjuâ€™s activities on multiple occasions. When my child informed Preetha about Manju forcing her to do things she did not want to, she dismissed my child,â€ť the parent of a four-year-old child said.