A three-and-a-half-year-old nursery student was allegedly raped on her school premises on 4 September 2018.
In a video released on 9 September 2018, the girl’s parents have alleged that the police have given a clean chit to the school even though the incident appears to have happened inside the premises.
In the six-minute video clip which is doing the rounds on social media, the parents have also alleged that their daughter appears to have been subjected to sexual assault since August, if not earlier.
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What are the Allegations by Parents?
The father claims that on 4 September, when their daughter came back from school, her mother found blood on her panties.
"“We got worried and so decided to visit a gynaecologist. The doctor confirmed that something has happened. We went to another hospital where it was confirmed, ched-khani hui hai (she had been subjected to sexual abuse).”" - Father of survivor in video appeal
Following allegations by the parents, a complaint was filed at the Mukherjee Nagar police station. The parents allege that they were subjected to harassment by police personnel in the name of ‘counselling’ their daughter.
"“She’s just three-and-a-half years old and they were asking questions like, ‘Did Papa do this or did Dadu do this?’ This is nothing less than influencing a child and putting thoughts into her head.”" - Father of survivor in video appeal
The parents of the nursery student have also alleged that, in light of these developments, they suspect that their daughter may have been subjected to sexual assault on at least two previous occasions. One of these was just a month prior to the latest incident.
"“On 2 August, when we had gone to take her from school, we discovered that her panty [sic] was missing. So, we called the school and we were told that she may have forgotten it in the toilet.”" - Father of survivor in video appeal
With folded hands, the parents of the girl can be seen asking for justice in the video. They are also sure that the sexual assault happened inside the school.
"“All of this has happened inside the school because every time she used to come back from school, my daughter would complain of stomach pain and pain in urinary area.”" - Father of survivor in video appeal
The family now demands that the case be handed over to the crime branch of the Delhi Police. On 11 September 2018, protests were held outside the school by the irate parents and other family members seeking action against the concerned school authorities.
What are the Police Saying?
The Quint spoke with SHO Ramesh Singh at the Mukherjee Nagar police station who confirmed that an FIR has been filed under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). This provision deals with the punishment for “aggravated penetrative sexual assault”.
Singh confirmed that their investigation into the case is ongoing but refused to divulge any details. On being asked whether the case is being transferred to the crime branch, Singh said that they have not received any such order yet.
In their video appeal, the parents also claim that on the day they were called to record their statements, the police were going through the CCTV footage at the school.
When The Quint asked SHO Ramesh Singh if, based on CCTV footage, they suspect anyone from the school to be behind the crime, he refused to answer the question.
What Are the School Authorities Saying?
When The Quint tried to contact the concerned school over the phone on 12 September 2018, we were told that no statement would be issued as the authorities have announced two days of leave.
The school had previously made a statement to The Indian Express, in which they claim to have handed over all CCTV footage to the police, and warn that they will take legal action against anyone “circulating incorrect information.” The statement also cautions against the danger of fake news being spread on social media about the case.
(This is a developing story)
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