Home Minister K J George said in State assembly here in Bengaluru that Vibgyor school was at fault for not reporting the case to Police, and there will be an FIR filed against the school management for defaming the child.
Replying to the criticism raised by JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, K J George said that the school did not take ample care even when more than 4,000 children were studying there. He added that the child did not have any special needs, hence the school tried to defame the child.
In his meeting with parents of Vibgyor students, he also assured that the government will be invoking Goonda Act against the arrested SPA instructor Mustafa.
New Police Commissioner takes charge
State government has transferred Bangalore City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, and brought in M N Reddi who was the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) for Law and Order to handle Bangalore city. Auradkar has been transferred to Karnataka State Reserve Police as ADGP. He handed over the charge to M N Reddy on Monday.
Interestingly, KSRP police had taken to street against Auradkar weeks ago, in support of then-KSRP chief Ravindranath, when the latter was caught while allegedly taking pictures of a woman in a coffee shop. Now Auradkar is made to head the same unit, in place of Ravindranath.
Incidentally, Reddy was in news recently, for wrong reasons, as the High Court ordered that a complaint be registered against him and other police officers for “allegedly interfering with police action in a complaint against Reddy’s relative.”
Residents meet Home, Education ministers
Residents of Whitefield are leaving no stone unturned to ensure strict security measures in schools of the city and the State.
On July 21st, 2014, a group of concerned parents of children studying in Vibgyor High, Marathahalli and volunteers of Whitefield Rising met Karnataka Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar and Home Minister K J George in back-to-back two meetings.
Vibgyor students’ parents gave the Home Minister the letter which they had given to Bangalore Police Commissioner a few days back. He assured that :
- Goonda Act will be applicable to the culprit, which means that for one year he will not be out on bail.
- The case would be put under fast-track
- Action will be taken against Vibgyor School management.
- Parents want outsourcing business to be stopped and action against the school management.
- The school should be reopened.
Goonda Act is invoked against habitual offenders, on whom there are FIRs filed before. But in this case and Frazer town rape case, the State government is going ahead with Goonda act even though there is no prior FIR, because the police are convinced that the arrested are habitual offenders.
School to reopen soon
More than 30 people along with Principal of Vibgyor School met the Education Minister and Police Commissioner in Vikasa Soudha.
- They communicated that they want the school to start immediately, with counselling session for students and teachers.
- The Education Minister wanted to meet all teachers and staff before starting the school.
- Parents requested the police to stop giving permission for protests in front of the school and remove all media and police from school premises.
- The Police Commissioner agreed to deploy 2-3 policemen in civil clothes.
- Parents requested that the staff be checked before recruiting
- They also said that the school be held responsible once child is in bus till he/she comes out of the bus back home.
- They demanded that no declaration be signed by parents about non-responsibility of school, and parent association to be allowed, harsh punishment to culprit and strict action against management.
- The parents conveyed the Minister that the parents do not encourage any kind of vandalism that some political parties are engaging, as it shall affect the tender minds of the kids.
The school is expected to reopen in the next two-three days. Five staff from the school including the class teacher are under interrogation and have been suspended.
Government will provide the necessary administrative personnel to the school to continue functioning as before. The Sports and Performing Arts (SPA) activities have been suspended in all Vibgyor schools in Bangalore until further decision is taken.
Devyani Bagchi, one among the parents who met the Home Minister said the Home Minister has already set up a panel to to draft safety guidelines for the schools to adhere. Some guidelines have already been issued. He welcomed suggestions from the parents for the same. He also ensured that the school will be opened soon.
CWC bypassed by the police?
Police is supposed to inform the Child Welfare Committee within 24 hours of registering First Information Report with them, according to POCSO act, Section 19(6). CWC will then proceed where required to make further arrangements for the safety and security of the child.
However, in Vibgyor case, the police seems to have made use of a circular that allows them to produce the child in front of Metropolitan Magistrate. Therefore CWC has taken suo motu action in this case. CWC members had been to the school on Friday, but they couldn’t get much information as the school was closed and the non- teaching staff of the school continued to deny the involvement.
CWC member Vishalakshi T S says that the Metropolitan Magistrate’s availability is usually unpredictable, while CWC members are easily approachable. However not many are aware about the functioning of the CWC.
CWC is a judicial committee established under the juvenile Justice Act of 2000, to handle all cases related to children. It is a recommending body that gives guidelines to individual schools when any child sexual abuse incidents take place. However a follow up on the matter needs to be done by the Block Education Officer to see whether the guidelines have been followed.
Vishalakshi also stated that the committee will write to the commissioner of police informing how the police failed to carry out their duty by not informing them.
Who cares for the security in Bengaluru’s government schools?
Alleged rape in school: Bengaluru parents erupt in anger
State asks ICSE board to cancel school’s licence: Second blow to Vibgyor parents
Arrested instructor coached hundreds of kids in Whitefield, community shocked