Bangalore: Facing public anger, police today arrested a skating instructor in connection with the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl at a public school, six days after the outrageous incident was brought to light.
As protests demanding answers from the police and the government over alleged inaction intensified, Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar announced the arrest of Mustaffa after interrogation of eight persons, who were detained for questioning.
“Mustaffa, 31, is the main accused. He was arrested after interrogation,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Pranab Mohanty told PTI, adding this would lead to more arrests in the case.
This is the first arrest in the horrific incident which occurred on July 2 and came to light on July 14 after a police complaint was lodged.
Auradkar said police have recovered a mobile phone and laptop which contained obscene pictures of children from Mustaffa, who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar and had been living in Bangalore for the last 20 years. The accused would be produced before a court tomorrow, said Auradkar, who had come under mounting pressure and faced public ire over alleged police inaction in making any arrests and taking action against Vibgyor School where the incident happened. The high-profile school had faced allegations of trying to hush up the case.
Auradkar said the accused had worked in another school earlier and it had to be verified whether he had the tendency of downloading “obscene pictures of children”. The police action came as protests continued for the fourth day today, demanding swift justice. Civil society activists and parents of students studying at the Vibgyor School staged protests at Freedom Park here.
The protests which saw outrage spilling on to the streets yesterday took a political turn today with BJP Minority Morcha staging demonstrations demanding police to take action and immediately arrest the guilty and punish the school management for not taking prompt action.
Facing the heat of public anger again today, Auradkar addressed the protesters, assuring them that action would be taken against the guilty and school management for their alleged “inaction”.
He said as per guidelines framed to provide safety to school children, senior police officials, including Deputy Police Commissioners, will hold meetings with the school managements from tomorrow.
The Commissioner said very shortly the police control room would make arrangements for receiving messages from citizens on whatsapp, a phone application, and the department is sensitising police officers to treat rape cases with seriousness and file FIRs against the accused.
A rash of rape cases in the city in recent days had triggered public outrage and revulsion over rising number of sexual offences against women and children, with the government coming under fire for not doing enough to curb them.
Apart from the school incident, a 22-year woman was allegedly raped on July 10 midnight when she was seated in a car with her friend as four persons forcibly entered their car and drove them away with one of them committing the crime.
The culprit, son of a local BSP leader, has been arrested.
In another incident, a 15-year old nun was allegedly raped in a seminary. No arrest has been made in the incident. The issue had rocked both houses of the Karnataka Legislature as the opposition hauled the government over the coals, demanding resignation of Home Minister K J George.