Mumbai: Within 36 hours after arresting a 35-year-old school bus cleaner at Juhu in north-west Mumbai for allegedly raping a four-year-old nursery student, the city police on Saturday booked him for molestation, after admitting that they wrongly charged the man with rape.
Embarrassed by reports in a section of local media that the Juhu police had booked the bus cleaner Ramesh Rajput for allegedly perpetrating sexual assault on the four-year-old girl, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh admitted that the police had erred in registering a case of rape against Rajput.
“The local police should have booked the arrested man for mere molestation. Instead, they wrongly charged him with rape,” Singh clarified.
Singh pointed that investigations had revealed that the bus cleaner concerned had merely touched the “private parts” of the female child in moving school bus.
“No rape took place. The man in question had merely touched the private parts of the girl and he had not committed any rape as had been made out in the case against him initially. Instead of charging with molestation, our people booked the man wrongly for rape,” the city police chief said.
The incident, took place on board a 16-seater school bus which was transporting nursery students from their school to their homes on Tuesday, came to light on Wednesday when her parents – together with the school authorities – lodged a complaint with the Juhu police.
According to the police, the victim girl was lone student present inside the bus, when the cleaner allegedly touched her private parts in the presence of a lady attendant. On her return home, the victim girl brought the incident to the notice of her parents on the following day.
Having arrested Rajput on Thursday and wrongly booked him for rape, the police later changed the charge and registered a case against him under 354 of Indian Penal Code (molestation) and under the sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. On Friday, he appeared before the Andheri Magistrate’s court which remanded him in police custody until February 1.
Meanwhile, the school management has claimed that the lady attendant who was present in the school bus at the time of incident, had confronted the cleaner in question and told him not to misbehave with the female child.