A 16-year-old student of a government-aided school in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu has allegedly been raped by the school office assistant. The police have arrested the accused who has been identified as Albert Soundarajan, 32, from Cuddalore district.
According to the police, Meena*, a Class 10 student of the boarding school went to a room designated for drinking water. Even as she finished fetching a glass of water, she was allegedly overpowered by Albert, who then proceeded to rape her.
Speaking to TNM, one investigating officer says, â€śThe girl fell unconscious as soon as she was overpowered. She got up later and narrated what happened to the headmaster. She said she was raped by the man, Albert Soundarajan. Based on the girlâ€™s complaint, the man, who has been working as school office assistant, has been arrested from his home opposite the school and remanded in custody.â€ť
The police say that the Child Welfare Committee in the district has been informed, even as the accused has been lodged at the Central Jail in Cuddalore.
An FIR has been registered at the All Womenâ€™s Police Station in Thirukoilur. A case has been booked under Section 4 (Punishment for penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
Speaking to TNM, Bhuvaneshwari, a former Child Welfare Committee member from Puducherry says that there needs to be a proper mechanism for vetting of school staff.
â€śTheir records should be verified thoroughly. Background checks should be undertaken by the police. Once in 3- 4 months, sensitization programs should be conducted for students, teachers as well as the parents. The institution should frame protection policies and explain to students and parents what the course of action will be and encourage them to come forward to report crimes,â€ť she says.