A five-year-old girl student of a private school was allegedly sexually assaulted by a sweeper inside the school premises in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash 2 area, police said on August 13, 2019.
The accused identified as Picha Muttu (45), a resident of Sudhar Camp, Kalkaji has been arrested by the police. He was employed in the school since 2008.
As per reports, the crime was brought to the police’s notice when the child complained to her mother about constant pain in her abdomen.
“When the mother found injuries on the girl’s body, she took her to a hospital. The child’s medical examination suggested that she had been raped, prompting her to inform the police,” said Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (south).
It was during counselling by a local NGO that the girl said that she has been lured by the school’s sweeper into the bathroom and other isolated places on the compound over several days.
“We arrested the sweeper and booked him for rape and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act,” the DCP added.
The accused who is a father to three daughters and a son has submitted his mandatory police verification certificate in 2017. He worked in the school’s morning shift, the same one that the girl attended.
“The sweeper had been taking the girl to isolated spots in the school building to abuse her since early this month. On one occasion, he took her inside the school’s washroom. The CCTV footage shows him accompanying the girl to the washroom and then walking out with her,” said a senior investigator.
A school official said that the footage caught on camera was from August 5, 2019, when the sweeper was asked to switch off the water cooler. “Since the switch was inside the girls’ washroom, he had gone inside. Footage showed the child entering the washroom moments later,” said the official. Otherwise, the school said that the washroom for girls is out of bounds for male workers.
The school authorities also said they have never received a complaint against the sweeper in the past. “On getting to know of the sexual assault by a non-teaching member of the school, the principal immediately handed him over to the police and provided all details about him without any delay,” the school said.
Reportedly, after the revelation of the shocking crime, parents of three more young students from the school came forward alleging that their daughters were abused by the man.
The same was confirmed by the DCP who said that the police have sought the help of an NGO to counsel other children in the school to see if the accused, seemingly a serial offender, abused more students.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times)