New Delhi: A five-year-old girl was repeatedly raped, over a period of seven days, by a sweeper of a private school in south Delhi.
After the incident came to light, parents of three other students too alleged that their daughters were harassed by the 45-year-old sweeper, the police said on Tuesday.
The sweeper, who is now seen as a serial sexual abuser, was working in the school since 2008. The accused has been arrested, Hindustan Times reported.
Confirming the multiple complaints of sexual abuse registered against the man, deputy commissioner of police (south) Vijay Kumar said that police have reached out to an NGO to counsel children to know if others were also victims.
Police also sent a notice to school authorities to know if they received similar complaints against the accused in the past. “We will also be asking them why a male worker was allowed in the washroom meant for girls,” said Kumar.
The school authorities said they never received a complaint against the sweeper.
“On getting to know of the sexual assault by a non-teaching member of the school, the principal immediately handed him over to the police and provided all details about him without any delay,” the school said.
The incident came to light after the girl complained about a constant pain in her abdomen.
“When the mother found injuries on the girl’s body, she took her to a hospital. The child’s medical examination suggested that she had been raped, prompting the mother to inform police,” Kumar said.
The girl was sent for counselling by an NGO where she revealed that sweeper used to lure her to the washroom and other isolated places.
“We arrested the sweeper and booked him for rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act,” Kumar said.
The alleged rapist is a father of three daughters and a son and stays in a nearby slum. The girl used to attend the morning shift of school and he worked on the same shift.
“The sweeper took the girl to isolated spots in the school building to abuse her since early this month. On one occasion, he took her inside the school’s washroom. The CCTV footage shows him accompanying the girl to the washroom and then walking out with her,” said a senior investigator to Hindustan Times.
According to a school official, a August 5 footage showed the sweeper entering the girls washroom when asked to switch off the water cooler. “Since the switch was inside the girls’ washroom, he had gone inside. Footage showed the child entering the washroom moments later,” said the official.
The accused had submitted his mandatory police verification certificate in 2017. At least 1,294 cases of rape have been reported from across the city till July 31 this year....