A four-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a private school's helper-cum-conductor in Dhuri town in Punjab's Sangrur district, triggering protests by residents against the school management and the local administration.
The incident took place on Saturday when the 27-year-old accused lured the girl, while her mother had come to the school to attend a parent-teacher meeting, police said Monday.
He was playing in a park with the girl and later took her to a room and raped her, they said.
After the parent-teacher meet, the girl's mother took her home, unaware of the incident.
The girl complained of pain in the abdomen on Saturday evening and repeated it on Sunday, following which her parents took her to a hospital where doctors confirmed the child was sexually assaulted.
As the news spread, protests erupted in Dhuri and residents gathered outside the local police station, demanding that the accused be arrested and handed over to them for punishment.
Sangrur SSP Sandeep Kumar Garg said the accused was arrested on Sunday.
Asked about the protests, he said, "They had a few demands. They wanted the accused to be arrested and we told them that he has been arrested. Their second demand was that action should be taken against the school management and they were told the administration will look into this. As far as their demand that accused be handed over to them was concerned, we told them that he has been arrested and is being dealt as per the law".
Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said law and order have broken down in the state.
"Shocked over reported rape of a four-year-old girl in Sangrur district. There is no such thing as law and order in Punjab with murders, rapes and daylight snatchings becoming a daily occurrence. CM must take responsibility or is he too busy quelling party revolt?" Badal tweeted.