Dubai Modern High School at Nad Al Sheba. The father said that he does not blame GEMS, which runs the school, or the transportation company for the incident. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The bus driver accused of raping a four-year-old girl on a school bus was employed with the school and its transportation service provider for 14 years, Gulf News has learnt.

The conductor of the bus, among the three suspects arrested, was with the school for seven years.

The Indian child, a pupil of Modern High School, was allegedly raped on November 11.

The parents notified police on January 9.

"My daughter is scared and can't sleep"

"She is scared at night and doesn't want to sleep. Our 4-year-old daughter never told us what had happened. The stains on her clothes made me suspicious," the mother of a kindergarten pupil who was allegedly raped by the schoolbus driver and two conductors, said.

"She only confided in us after we spoke to her based on medical reports that confirmed that she was raped by three men," the Indian homemaker, who hails from Delhi, told Gulf News. The girl has not gone back to school since the alleged incident took place.

"Our family was shattered beyond words when we found out."

On November 11 the Modern High school, where the child attends kindergarten, was celebrating children's day.

"She usually comes back by 10.15am. I called the conductor to find out what time the bus would reach near our home in Karama and he replied that they would be on time."

A few minutes later, the conductor called back to say that she need not come to the stop and that he would call her once they arrived. "But I felt uneasy and went down anyway and informed the conductor that I was already there," she recounted.

"By 11am the bus arrived. I asked my daughter how the day went, but she did not mention anything."

While the mother changed the child's clothes, she saw they were stained and asked her about it.

"She just replied — nothing. I put away the clothes in the laundry bin. Thankfully, I didn't get the time to wash them for the next 4 to 5 days," she said, adding that she cannot imagine the situation if she washed the clothes and the incident had gone unnoticed.

The child now complains of bad dreams.

More signs

The child's father told Gulf News: "We have gone through hell. We have met people who wanted to brush this under the carpet and those who genuinely wanted to help us."

The second sign for the mother was when the child passed urine in her clothes. "We were visiting a family friend when it happened. My daughter asked my friend not to tell me about it and looked scared," the mother said.

"It seemed strange to me, since we hardly scold her."

Two days later, when the family went to a park, the child dropped a mobile phone and looked petrified when she picked it up. "The culprit must have threatened the child is what I gather now," the mother said.

Although the mother raised her concerns with the father, he dismissed it. "At that point, I felt no one on earth could do something so heinous to an innocent child," the father said.

But the mother made it a point to visit a gynaecologist the next day with the soiled clothes. The girl had worn casual clothes on the day, since the school was celebrating children's day.

"The doctor confirmed my worst fear. It was semen on her dress," the mother said.

The same night the family flew to India to seek medical attention. The parents reported the matter to police only on January 11, two months later.

"We should have gone to the police earlier. But at the time my priority was to protect my child. I did not want her to go through the trauma again.

"I have got tremendous support from the police. Today I feel differently — I should have gone to them earlier," the father told Gulf News. The father said that he does not blame GEMS, which runs the school, or the transportation company for the incident.

"We approached GEMS on January 5 and they encouraged us to report the matter to police. We blame the culprits only. We want justice for our daughter," the father said.

Abuse of children

27 December 2010
A worker admits in court that he kissed a nine-year-old girl on her lips like a daughter.

23 December 2010
Two Emirati men face six months in jail after a court convicted them of attacking a 13-year-old schoolboy with a Taser gun before molesting him.

23 December 2010
An Emirati student faces four months in jail for taking his compatriot schoolgirl into his friend’s bedroom and kissing her while sleeping, ruled a court.

21 December 2010
Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced a Bangladeshi cleaner to six months’ imprisonment after he was found guilty of molesting a nine-year-old girl inside the women’s washroom at Dubai Festival City.

30 November 2010
Prosecutors accused a 36-year-old Indian blacksmith of consuming liquor and sexually molesting a 15-year-old Moroccan girl aboard a flight.

17 October 2010
A Pakistani mechanic is accused of exposing himself in front of a ten-year-old schoolgirl and molesting her at Dubai’s Mina Al Seyahi.

7 July 2010
A guard is jailed for five years after a court convicted him of molesting a girl in a coma.

20 June 2010
Dubai Court sentences an unemployed Indian man to one year in jail for molesting a five- year-old boy in an elevator.

30 May 2010
A teacher faces three years in jail after a court convicted him of molesting a 12-year-old Emirati schoolgirl in her family home.

25 June 2009
A 10-year-old girl is allegedly molested at Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi. The girl said that a man approached her and started touching her inappropriately.

31 May 2007
Dubai Court of First Instance sentences a 24-year-old school gardener to 25 years in jail for attempting to rape and molest a seven-year-old boy.

Have your say
Who do you think is responsible for children’s security while they are at school and on the bus? As a parent, would you feel more comfortable if there was a female adult, like a nanny, onboard? Tell us.