BENGALURU: Relatives of the physical education teacher accused of child sexual abuse on Wednesday allege he is being framed.
Shocked by the violence and disturbed by the visuals on the TV channels, they believe the riot was engineered.
“We have been getting calls from his former students, many of whom came to our house for tuitions. They say he has always taught them and treated them with care,” said his wife Suma (names in this story have been changed to protect identities).
His daughter Kaveri is quiet. A final year M Com student, her eyes were swollen from crying when Express met her in the afternoon.
“Don’t believe us if you don’t want to. Ask anyone who lives in this area... ask the shopkeepers, ask our neighbours, go ahead and ask parents of his students. They will tell you my father will not do such a thing,” she said.
Both Kaveri and Suma were assaulted by the mob when they went to the school to see what was happening. “Some residents took us to safety and brought us home,” Suma said.
Her brother Sudhakar was in college when Kaveri called him. “Something has happened to dad, come home quickly,” she said.
“Eight years ago, I studied at that school and Master taught us. In addition to physical instruction, he also took tuitions at his house. We have been alone with him and not once has he misbehaved with any one of us,” said Veena, a former student.
The teacher has been at the school for about 23 years, and has never faced any allegation. “Why now?” she asked.
The family suspects the protest was staged. “Why didn’t they go to the police?” she asked. Others said the incident was orchestrated to disgrace the school so that its land could be grabbed.
“Some people are eyeing the land, but the management has not agreed to shift the school. This riot is a ploy,” a resident of the area said.
“Let the police investigate. Why did they take the law into their hands? Why did they hurt my son?” said Jayalakshmi, the teacher’s mother.
Riot: 11 of 12 in Hospital Are Cops
Twelve people—11 of them policemen—are being treated at Victoria Hospital for injuries sustained in the violence. Their condition is stable, doctors said. Alok Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police, was among those assaulted by the mob.
His communications operator Santosh sustained a head injury, and was rushed to NIMHANS. “People threw stones from the rooftops and one landed on my head,” Santosh said. “I was bleeding.” NIMHANS referred him to a general hospital, saying he had suffered no neurological damage.
Alok Kumar was soon back at the scene. “Although initially it was just parents, the crowd swelled. Within 45 minutes, about 1,500 to 2,000 people had gathered at the scene,” he said.
M N Reddi, City Police Commissioner said the narrow, congested roads had helped rowdies from nearby areas to take advantage of the situation.