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Sarah Fatima led team to probe Bangalore school child molestation
Wednesday October 22, 2014 6:04 PM, IANS

Police Wednesday launched a probe into the alleged molestation of a three-year-old girl child in a private school here Tuesday, as hundreds of parents protested against the incident and sought stringent action against the culprits.

"We have set up a special team to investigate the incident in which a minor was allegedly molested in the school and are interrogating its staff, faculty and security persons employed there," city police commissioner M.N. Reddi told reporters here.

The six-member probe team, headed by assistant commissioner of police Sarah Fatima, is examining the footage of the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the Orchid The International School to monitor movements of students, faculty, staff and visitors.

"We are monitoring the situation and collecting all evidence, as it is a sensitive case, involving a three-year-old victim in the nursery section of the school. We are recording statements of her parents, school administration and teachers as part of the investigation," Reddi said.

Noting that a medical check-up of the child at a hospital showed minor cut marks on her private parts, Reddi said of the 90 faculty and staff members, about 10 were male employees in the school, including caretakers and physical education coaches.

"Where the incident took place is a matter of investigation, which is being carried out with the help of child counselors and our women officers," Reddi said.

Mother recalled to police her daughter telling her that "uncle did this to me".

Meanwhile, the school management said it had learnt about the incident Tuesday evening (around 6 p.m.) after all students and teachers left early as a five-day holidays were to begin from Wednesday for Diwali festival this week.

"A cursory viewing of the CCTV footage shows no entry of outsiders in the school yesterday (Tuesday) but only teachers and students interacting and moving around. We are cooperating with police to investigate the case," a school official told IANS here.

On police directive, the entire staff, including teachers, administrative staff and security persons were summoned to school for questing by the probe team.

Police registered a criminal case late Tuesday under sections of Pocso Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by the child's father that his young daughter was molested while she was in the school.

According to the complaint, the girl's mother found her daughter crying and behaving unusual and abnormal when she went to pick her up from the school in the evening.

"The victim had signs of fever and complained to her mother that she was physically abused by someone she did not know or recognize," said the complaint by her father Harpreet Singh.

In a related development, Home Minister K.J. George expressed shock over the incident and directed police to submit a preliminary report on it by Thursday.

Reddi visited the school late Tuesday with his deputy (north) T.R. Suresh and Fatima for spot inspection and questioning the school authorities.

The latest incident of child abuse in a city school has occurred three months after a six-year-old girl student was allegedly raped in The Vibgyor High school in the eastern suburb by its gymnastic coach and his assistant.

The accused were arrested three weeks the incident July 29 and remanded to judicial custody pending investigation and filing of the charge sheet by police.

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