BANGALORE: The police top brass, led by Commissioner M N Reddi, announced on Thursday that they had filed a charge-sheet in the Vibgyor gang-rape case, but that is not true, Express has found.
A six-year-old girl at Vibgyor High in Marathalli was raped on July 2, triggering national outrage. The police have not been able to crack the case even three months later.
As Tuesday’s Orchids case brought public attention back to the security of school children, senior police personnel told the media they had already filed a charge-sheet in the Vibgyor case. Reddi said the charge-sheet had been filed on October 21. DCP Rohini Katoch Sepat also tweeted: ‘Vibgyor school case charge-sheet has been submitted to the court.’
But the public prosecutor handling the case and the staff at the City Civil and Sessions Court told Express that they had received no charge-sheet.
Speaking to the media, Rohini Katoch said Lal Giri (21) and Waseem Pasha (28), gym instructors, had been booked under IPC Section 376 (rape) and various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
She further said Rustom Kerawalla, chairman of the Vibgyor School, had been booked under Section 202 of the IPC for intentional omission while giving information about the offence.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Duggappa, investigating officer in the case, said the police had collected medical evidence, staff testimonies, victim’s statements and circumstantial evidence. “A charge-sheet has been submitted to the court and it will soon come up for hearing,” he claimed.
A senior police officer said the charge-sheet ran into 750 pages, and contained statements from 70 teaching and non-teaching staff. But no one outside police circles knows anything about it.
Although the incident took place on July 2, a case was registered only on July 14 at the Varthur police station.Police arrested skating instructor Mustafa on July 20 but later released him. They then arrested gym instructors Lal Giri and Waseem Pasha, both of whom are in judicial custody.
Rustom Kerawalla was arrested on July 20 in Diu, near Gujarat, with the police claiming he was trying to flee the country. A Bangalore court granted him bail the same day.
Will Inspect Schools: RTE Task Force
The members of the Right to Education (RTE) task force will inspect the schools in their areas regularly from here on. The task force has passed a resolution to this end and directed all its members to form a team with 10-15 parents and visit the schools every 15 days. Task force convener Nagasimha G Rao told Express, “Even after the implementation of safety norms, incidents of sexual abuse and harassment are being reported. We need to take the initiative. With such incidents occurring again and again, it’s time for parents to step in.” If the schools refuse to allow the inspection, the task force will stage a protest. “The team that visits the schools must look into all aspects of child safety. If there are any loopholes, we will immediately file a police complaint,” Rao said.