Today's Newspaper

School still defends, engages gardener who raped toddler last year

| | New Delhi

At time when the nation is outraged over the gruesome murder of a seven-year-old boy inside Rayan International School in Gurugram, a startling revelation relating to Delhi school’s complicity in a sexual assault case has come to light.

Ved Vyas DAV Public School in D Block of Vikaspuri is pulling out all stops to save its gardner who has been to jail for raping a four-year-old schoolgirl on September 16, last year. The parents of the victim — who was forced by the school to un-roll from the school a few days after the sexual assault complaint — were shocked to find that the accused, 48-year-old Baldev, is not only employed in the school but the school is also bearing all his legal expenses in the rape case.

On being asked by The Pioneer, the school authorities failed to give any plausible explanation for their bids to shield the rape accused.

Narrating the sequence of the beastly crime in September last year, the victim’s mother told The Pioneer, “When my daughter returned from school around 1 pm, I found her unusually quiet. I tried to talk to her but she did not disclose anything. It was only in the evening around 4 pm when I was giving her a bath I saw redness in her private parts. When I asked her, she confided in me ‘a man with beard and dark complexion came inside the bathroom, unzipped her pants and undergarments and tried to put his finger in’.”

“I was shocked. Since my husband is a driver with Uber, I informed him about the matter late that night. On September 17, I took my child to a private clinic. The doctor told me that my daughter has been inappropriately touched. The incident has given my daughter mental scar. She implored me not to send her back to that school,” said the mother.

The father of the victim said, “We informed police but the next day being an off day in the school, police approached the school authorities on September 19. It seemed the school authorities cooperated with police. While scanning the CCTV footage of the corridor next to the bathroom, the gardener was seen exiting the crime spot. Consequently, police arrested him.”

“I thought we got justice. But it was a sham,” said the parents. “The attitude of the school turned nasty a few days later. The principal claimed that my daughter will no longer be part of their school. The teachers too mocked my daughter. The trauma of the incident coupled by the bullying left my daughter in deep shock that I eventually admitted her in another school,” said the mother.

Even now whenever my daughter passes by that school, she is filled with fear, said the mother.

“On April 6 this year, we were further shocked to find that a Class IX student has been sexually assaulted in the same school. Parents had gathered outside the school to stage a protest. When we joined, we found that the children of the school alleged that the gardener who raped my daughter is still working. When I asked the principal, Chitra Lakra, she claimed that she can show me roster that the gardener is not on the roll.

However, instead of showing it, she walked back inside the school.

“As a parent, I only hope that what I went through, no parent should go. The case is still pending in the Dwarka Court. The next hearing is on October 9.

The accused, Baldev sought bail from the court and paid the money,” said the father.

“I am a driver with Uber. Since last year, I have been fighting the legal battle. My hopes were shattered to know that the gardener was backed by the school authorities and is still employed.



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