Udupi police arrested part-time journalist Chandra K Hemmady after 21 cases of child sexual assault was filed against him in police stations across Udupi district. He also held a part-time job reporting for a daily newspaper.
40-year-old Chandra, who also taught music in schools, was accused of sexually assaulting young boys for the last five years in the pretense of teaching them music. He was arrested on November 27 by Udupi police. He was remanded to judicial custody until December 17 on Monday.
The case came to light in November when one of the students from a school in Byndoor opened up about his experience in a meeting with a counsellor in Kasturba Hospital in Manipal. The Udupi police, oblivious to the case till then, was alerted by the parents of the boy.
After the first complaint was made, 20 other students from schools in and around Kundapur and Byndoor came forward to file complaints against Chandra, all alleging sexual assault. 16 complaints have been registered in Byndoor police station, two in Gangolli and one each in Kundapur, Kollur and Kundapur rural stations. Police expect that several more complaints will be filed in connection with the case.
"The cases went on undetected because Chandra used to take the teachers at the school and sometimes even the parents of the children into confidence before proceeding to sexually abuse them whenever he got the opportunity," said .
Chandra made a habit of teaching students separately. He even used to travel with children separately in the guise of practicing singing.
Udupi police led by the SP formed a team, collected evidence of dozens of cases of sexual assault against Chandra. He has been charged under Section 8 of the POCSO Act (sexual assault) and has not yet applied for bail.