A week after the alleged sexual assault of a three-and-a-half-year-old was reported in a Bengaluru playschool, the prominent network of preschools, in an email statement said that the organisation has closed down operations at the branch for now and is “contemplating shutting down” the branch where the incident was reported.
Stating that the organisation has “elaborate guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children enrolled in its centres,” the statement said that the organisation had also filed a complaint with the police against Manjunath, the accused in the case.
“At that stage our prime importance was to ensure the welfare of the child and provide all possible cooperation to the law enforcement agencies. We are now contemplating further actions against the franchisee which may include initiation of termination of the franchisee given the serious allegations against them,” the statement reads.
The organisation’s spokesperson said that the playschool authorities have been asked to provide the police with CCTV footage and offer full cooperation with the investigation.
“We have blocked the e-portal of the branch and have stopped all new admissions temporarily. We will provide counselling to children and parents individually to help decrease the trauma and bring to fore any other hidden incidents, if authorities permit the same,” the statement says.
On February 17, the parents of a three-and-a-half-year-old child attending the playschool had filed a sexual assault complaint against a school administrator V Manjunath.
Following this, seven other children came forward and filed complaints against Manjunath and also the Principal Dr Veena Ashok, a class teacher named Ayesha and another administrator Preetha.
Parents of children alleged that Manju was present when the children’s clothes were being changed and also entered the washroom with the children.
Totally seven FIRs have been filed till date under relevant sections of POCSO.
However, on Tuesday, the zonal head of the play school and the principal were out on bail.
Police are still verifying the parents’ claims and medical examinations of several children are yet to take place.