A three-year-old girl was allegedly raped in a school van by its conductor, who was detained, police said today.
The incident took place on Thursday when the girl, a pre-nursery student, was returning home in the school van in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, they said.
The van conductor was detained on Thursday night, police inspector Baljeet Singh said.
"The accused is claiming he is 17 years of age. We are verifying his age," he said.
The inspector said the child returned home from her school at around 2 pm and told her mother about the incident. When her mother inquired more about the incident, the child named the bus conductor, the police officer said.
The 14-seater van, in which the incident took place, has been hired by the school where the girl goes, the inspector said.
Her parents later lodged a police complaint against the van conductor, Mr Singh said.
The accused was charged for rape under the amended Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 376 AB, which deals with punishment for rape of girls under the age of 12, and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, he said.
Last year, the Madhya Pradesh Assembly unanimously passed a bill introducing the death penalty for those found guilty of raping minors aged 12 years or less.