In a shocking incident in Mumbai, a four-year-old nursery student was sexually assaulted in a moving school bus by the conductor on Tuesday.
The police arrested the accused, Ramesh Rajput, a 35-year-old Vile Parle resident on Thursday.
The incident came to light after the child disclosed the matter to her father a day after it happened. The girl's parents immediately reported the matter to the school authorities and later lodged a police complaint.
The crime reportedly took place on Tuesday afternoon when the girl, a student of a premier Juhu School, was on her way back home. She was alone in the bus when the accused took her to the rear part of the vehicle and molested her. He then threatened her of dire consequences if she revealed the incident to anyone.
Meanwhile, there were conflicting statements by police and the school authorities.
The police said that the bus did not have a female attendant, which is mandatory as per Indian law. The police claim was rejected by the school authorities who said that the bus had a female attendant who "immediately confronted" Rajput and "stopped" him from committing the crime.
"We have effected immediate arrest of the person concerned, registered a strong case for a non-bailable offence and will ensure that the culprit is punished severely. We will also terminate the contract with the bus owner," a trustee of the school was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Rajput was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 376 (rape), 354 (criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). In addition, the police have invoked other charges under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 against him. The offender was produced at Andheri Court and has been sent to judicial custody till February 1.The police has made the bus driver a witness in the case and is inquiring if Rajput had molested any other child in past.
In a similar incident, a minor was raped during recess time by an unidentified person in a school toilet in Goa on Monday.