Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday ordered Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood to "diligently investigate" the case of an school supervisor being accused of molesting a three-year-old girl. The case raised a hue and cry after it came to light that the principal had tried to hush up the incident, and the way things stand, the culprit could be a repeat offender.
The CM said on Twitter on Saturday morning: "Have asked Police Commissioner to diligently investigate the play school child abuse cases. The guilty will not be spared. [sic]" He added: "Education & Women & Child Dev Depts must ensure strict implementation of Child Protection Policy in schools. Time for a public info campaign [sic]."
Here are five questions about the case that need answers:
1. Why did the principal try to hush up the incident? The principal of the preschool in Marathahalli is said to have tried to hush up the matter, even after Manjunath — who has been accused of molestation — was arrested by the police. She apparently asked the parents of the victim to withdraw the case. Her actions are suspect and should be investigated.
2. Is there CCTV evidence? The preschool has claimed that it has handed over CCTV footage to the police. However, given that Manjunath himself was in charge of maintaining the CCTV system, it needs to be probed whether he has tampered with evidence.
3. Why did teachers send erring students to Manjunath for punishment? After the incident, many students have complained to their parents that they were sent to "Manju bhaiya" for punishment. Why would they do that? What kind of punishment he meted out to children?
4. Why were students' clothes changed in front of him? Manjunath was the only male employee at the preschool. Why did other employees change children's clothes in front of him?
5. Does the accused have a history of such actions? Paedophiles are known to commit multiple crimes and blackmail the children into silence by threatening to harm their parents. The police should also look into the possibility of the accused being a repeat offender.