Karnataka Police Friday arrested the secretary of a society that runs a private school here, where a three-year-old student was allegedly raped, and registered criminal cases against its three office-bearers.
“We have registered a criminal case against K.R.K. Reddy, secretary of Sri Gowtham Academy of General & Technical Education Society, which runs Orchids The International School, in which the horrifying incident occurred, and arrested him for interrogation,” Home Minister K.J. George told reporters here.
Besides Reddy, the society’s three office bearers – president K. Durga, vice-president Y. Shilpa and joint secretary U. Surendra Babu – were booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 on a complaint filed by state education department deputy director H.B. Manjunath in the jurisdictional police station Thursday.
“The accused have been running the school (Orchids) by flouting rules, violating laws and cheating the public, parents and about 900 students without any recognition from the state or central governments,” George said.
On inspection, officials found that the society secured permission March 3, 2013 from the state government to run a primary school from class 1-5 in Kannada medium. “In reality, the school has been running classes from pre-nursery to seventh class in English medium, claiming affiliation to the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), which is a gross violation and abuse of law,” George said.
The society is alleged to have also collected huge sums of money from parents in the guise of donations and building fund by claiming that it was a recognised school.
Meanwhile, a special team set up to probe the incident, Friday questioned seven drivers of buses operated by the society to ferry students from their homes to the school.
“The investigation into the case is in progress. We have interrogated the school management, all male employees in the school, including PT (physical training) teachers, sports coaches and security persons,” additional police commissioner (law and order) Alok Kumar told reporters.
Though the probe team, headed by assistant commissioner of police Sarah Fatima, detained the school’s attender for questioning, Kumar said no arrest has been made as yet as the investigation is on.
“We have not arrested anyone so far in the main case but have been interrogating the 45-year-old attender on the basis of evidence collected such as his movements in the CCTV footage and what the victim told her parents, our women counsellers, who are part of the probe team,” Alok Kumar added.
In a related development, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said stringent action would be taken against the school management and the guilty would be punished under the relevant law, including the Goonda Act, which was recently amended to include rape and sexual abuse of girls or children as serious crime.
The criminal case was registered late Tuesday under sections of the Pocso Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) and section of the IPC on a complaint by the victim’s father that his young daughter was molested while she was in the school.