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Anger in Kolkata after report of 4-yr-old's sexual assault by teachers in school

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 1 December 2017, 18:59 IST

A four-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by two PT teacher in at the high-profile GD Birla Centre For Education in Ranikuthi in Kolkata on Thursday afternoon.

The student was allegedly abused inside a toilet during school hours. The girl returned home with blood stains on her uniform and was reportedly crying. Her mother noticed her bleeding from genital area. The child was then rushed to the SSKM hospital, where she is now recovering.

One of the accused has been identified. The parents of the victim have lodged an FIR at Jadavpur police station.

This is the latest in a string of bizarre cases where a four-year-old each was assaulted in New Delhi and Bangalore. More so, the cases have lead to questions about lapses in security in high-profile schools, especially after a boy was murdered at Ryan International School in Gurgaon in September.

According to Priyanka Tibrewala, the victim’s lawyer, the two PT teachers lured the girl inside the toilet using a chocolate bar as bait. The accused then stripped the child and assaulted the girl. They then allegedly left her in the toilet.

"I got a phone call from school saying my daughter is sick and that she was bleeding while urinating. I immediately went to school to take her and when I saw her, she looked ready to collapse. When I took her home, she said she could not urinate as there was pain in her genitals. I thought that it might be a urinary tract infection (UTI) and informed the doctor. When the doctor examined her, he said it’s a case of assault and told me to lodge a police case,” the victim's mother said.

Security lapses

After the incident was reported, parents of students at the school began a protest outside the campus and demanded that security be beefed up. As of now, the school has decided to shut down for an indefinite period.

"In 2015, a similar incident took place, but the school authorities did not take action against the accused, My daughter may be recovering, but she is traumatised and had to go through talking to a lawyer and the police. We want sever punishment to be meted out as this is a case of gangrape," said the father of the victim.

Senior police officials said that the accused will not only be booked under the Indian Penal Code, but he will also be booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act.

"The accused should be punished severely. The incident has not only traumatised the victim, but parents are now afraid to send their children to school. It’s a disgrace for our society,” said film director Koushik Ganguly.

Reshma Basu, a teacher of a private school at Kolkata said, “The work of the teachers does not end only with studies. Teachers need to take care of the security of students. It’s a disgrace for the teaching fraternity.”

Meanwhile, a teacher at the school where the incident took places says that a separate enquiry will be made into the incident. "By December end, CCTV cameras will be installed," the teacher said.

"I have sent my staff to enquire into the incident. Although it’s a private school, I will speak with the concerned school management authorities to increase security inside the school to avoid such incidents in future. The accused will be punished,” said state education minister Partha Chatterjee.

First published: 1 December 2017, 18:59 IST