Bangalore, July 22 : Bangalore’s new Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi Tuesday visited the school where a six-year-old student was allegedly raped, and discussed with parents their problems and measures needed for children’s safety. The six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by the skating instructor of the school July 2 within the school premises. “I held an hour-long meeting with several parents and the school management and discussed the problems they are facing, especially safety of their wards. I also inspected the crime scene and went round the school to check facilities,” Reddi later told reporters.
The parents and their wards also want the school to be re-opened soon, as it has remained shut since July 17 following their protests over the management’s attempt to hush up the heinous crime and its failure to take action against the accused. “I have directed the management to enforce the guidelines the state home department issued Monday and reopen the school at the earliest. The management has assured me and the parents of implementing the guidelines before reopening the school in a week,” Reddi asserted.
Some of the guidelines include installing digital closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all classrooms, playrooms, restrooms, labs, library, teachers’ room and at vantage points covering the entire school premises, including the playground. The school has been directed to employ adequate women security guards and prepare background profile of all staff members and those employed on contract for non-curricular and non-academic activities. The school has also been directed to stop allowing outsiders to use its swimming pool before and after school hours and stop private tankers from drawing water from its tubewells on its vast grounds.
“The school should also maintain full records of all security guards and drivers employed to operate its fleet of transport vehicles used to pick and drop the students from and to homes. They should also train and sensitise the non-teaching staff on dealing with wards to ensure their safety and security,” Reddi noted. The parents also complained to the commissioner the school management had forced them to give an undertaking it would not be responsible for any untoward incident, loss, damage or injury to their wards in the school premises.
“We want the undertaking to be withdrawn immediately, as it is not only objectionable, but also illegal, as the management is equally responsible and accountable for the safety and welfare of our children in the school,” Nandish Reddy, a parent, told IANS. Asked about the progress in the investigation, Reddi said the probe was ongoing and the special team, formed to crack the case, was collecting collaborative evidence to nab another accused involved in the crime.
“The IO (Investigating Officer) will soon give us details of the case and problems the probe team is facing in collecting evidence against the other accused. We will work with the management and parents to resolve the issues that have cropped up during the probe and measures to be taken to prevent such an unfortunate incident,” Reddi added.