Kolkata: Two teachers of the GD Birla Education Centre in south Kolkata were arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences or POSCO Act on Friday evening for sexually assaulting a four year old student on Thursday. The two men are the school's PT teachers who allegedly lured the girl into the toilet by offering her chocolates and then sexually assaulted her.
"Dushtu Sir" or "Bad Sir" is what the child reportedly said when she picked out the photo of the two teachers from among many others. Abhishek Roy and Md Mofizul were arrested under sections 4 and 6 of POSCO act which could attract life imprisonment.
Her father was in tears at the news of the arrests. "I hope this never happens to any other child again. I was with my daughter during her medical tests. Her pain and trauma were unbearable," he said.
For many parents with daughters at that school, it de ja vu as what happened on Thursday was an exact replay of events from three years ago. Angry parents wanted the principal's resignation if not arrest.
Back in November 2014, the assaulted girl was six years old. This time, she is four. An outsider was blamed last time. This time, the enemy was within.
One thing stayed constant. No CCTV at the school then. No CCTV now.
"This is a big school, they take crores of rupees in donation but there is no surveillance. Not a single CCTV. How is that possible, especially after the same thing happened three years ago?" asked a parent. Many others agitating at the school echoed the same thoughts.
Another parent added, "This is a girl's school. Why are the PT teachers male?"
The principal refused to take responsibility for the incident. Nor for the absence of CCTVs. "I can't say why the CCTV was not installed. We will do it by the end of this month," she said, adding, "We also need some time to find out what happened."
But till late Friday night, she and several other teachers were stuck inside the school building, with the police at the main door to control angry parents demanding the principal be arrested. "She should resign or be sacked," said a parent. "Ultimately she is responsible for the safety of our daughters."
At Jadavpur Police station, opposition political parties protested - both the BJP and Congress. The father and his lawyer were present there at that time.
"We are sending our kids into a death well. I will not send her again to that school," he said.
His lawyer, Priyanka Tiberwal, said, "We shall ensure no child goes back to that school. We want it shut."
The father said on Saturday, tomorrow, he would be at the school at 6 am and stop teachers and students from entering the premises. "The school should be shut for 10 years at least," he said.
The arrest of the two men - announced by the police at around 6 pm -did nothing to placate parents gathered at the school. They seemed set for a night long vigil.
Last time, the school was disrupted for several days. The assaulted girl's parents withdrew the case and the girl from the school and the situation returned to normal.
This time, with the girl's parents determined to pursue justice, the disruption could be much longer and more complicated.