The #MeToo movement brought with it cases of sexual misconduct which raised the curtain and brought to the fore numerous powerful people, who had used their influence to sexually harass women and minors. However, powerful people have still managed to deflect the attention from themselves and we could not be more disappointed.
Remember how the Haryana Government invited a convicted rapist to their Republic Day function? Something similar happened in a school when the trustee was accused of raping a three-year-old student.
According to Indian Express, the incident took place in January 2017 and came to light when the mother of the child noticed that the child was unable to sit and walk properly. The girl identified the 56-year-old trustee who is also a French national, from the school website, along with a female teacher.
The trustee was remanded to police custody until November 14, 2017, after which he appealed for bail, citing that he was “innocent and a victim”. He was soon released on bail but was not given a clean chit by the police.
However, he has re-joined the International school in Andheri where he was accused of the crime. Understandably, the other parents were concerned about an accused roaming the perimeters of the school, near their children.
As reported by Mid-day, a parent wrote to the school officials on February 5, 2018, confiding her fears about the safety of her child seeing how an accused was in the school premises. She wrote,
She also cited the school policies which said that in case of a sexual misconduct, the accused will be asked to remain absent until a proper investigation is conducted.
The accused trustee in question then replied to her email on February 7, 2018, and his arguments which he used to defend himself are perplexing, to say the least. He wrote,
Imagine the young Indian minds being terrorised at the thought of meeting Mahatma Gandhi, knowing that he had been in custody; imagine the plight of the young South African minds terrorised when being told about Nelson Mandela’s years in jail. Imagine the schoolchildren’s minds, amused at the fact that the trustee was in jail.
Our young schoolchildren’s minds are terrorised by what they hear, not by the truth, never. Tell them that the trustee was remanded to judicial custody for being wrongly accused of an action that he has in fact been fighting against for decades. Tell them that he has spent half his life to create a space where kids can roam freely without fear and had to pay a price for it.
Read it [the policy] carefully. The policy states that an investigation will be carried out and, till then, the accused is asked to stay away from the school. It refers to an internal investigation, and not police investigation. In my case, they [police] had already stepped in before we could conduct an internal investigation. What better investigation could one have asked for? For six months, I stayed away for the investigation to be conducted in a fair manner. I was then released on bail. Do you think the Hon’ble Court would have released me if I were a danger to society?”
There are no words for the trustee’s justification for his arrest, considering he has not been given a clean chit by court yet. The parents are absolutely rational in their fear and we have witnessed too many incidents of minors being assaulted to take such matters lightly.