Sunday, 23 March 2014 – 8:40am IST | Agency: DNA, little yadav

The peon of a special school in Trombay, who was looked up to as a care taker by the children, took advantage of two mentally unstable minor girls from the school around four months ago. The incident came to light on Friday when the victims narrated their ordeal to a counsellor from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) following which a complaint was lodged with the Trombay police.

The accused, who has been identified as Rajesh Tare, was working as peon with the Children and Society secondary School. Tare, a resident of Govandi, was arrested for raping one and molesting another minor girl in the toilet inside the school premises.

According to the Trombay police, the incident occurred around four months back. The two victims are aged 16 and 18 years.

Madhuri Ramekar, the complainant in the case, is counsellor of the Mentally Deficient Children (MDC). Ramekar had gone to the school on Friday for a counselling session during which the two girls broke down and told her about how Tare had raped one of them and molested the other. The two victims told Ramekar that Tare had taken advantage of them while taking them to the toilet and for drinking water on two different occasions.

After hearing the ordeal of the girls, Ramekar went to the chief executive officer of Children’s Aid Society that runs the school, and told him about the incident. Subsequently, Ramekar went to the police and lodged a complaint against Tare.

According to the sources from the school, the incident occurred in the school where the mentally unstable students were sent for counselling. However, police said that the students are sent to the school under the surveillance of police officials, including women police personnel, as the children are mentally unstable. Police said that there are women peons in the school and how can such incidents can be committed in their presence? Police said that they have not ruled out the possibility of involvement of others from the school in the case. There are around 300 children mostly orphans who are send to a nearby school for studies and counselling.

Senior inspector, Vijay Kadam of Trombay police station said, “We have arrested Tare on charges of IPC and have also booked him under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. We are now trying to ascertain whether Tare has sexually abused any other girl from the school and whether anyone else was involved in the crime. Tare has been remanded to police custody. Further investigations into the case are on.”

Girls are escorted to school: Baffled cops

S Ahmed Ali & Anahita Mukherji,TNN | Mar 23, 2014, 05.10 AM IST

MUMBAI: The alleged sexual assault of two mentally ill teens in a Mankhurd shelter shows how vulnerable the girls are. According to the FIR filed by counsellor from TISS, Madhuri Ramekar, while one of the girls was allegedly raped by peon Rajesh Tare while being taken to the toilet during school hours, the second was sexually assaulted on her way to a water cooler.

“Yesterday, the counsellor informed me that two girls had reportedly been raped and molested by Tare. I instructed Ramekar to immediately report it to the police,” said Navnath Shinde, chief executive officer of Children’s Aid Society, which runs the home. The home has around 300 children, mostly orphans, who are sent to a neighbouring school for studies.

The police say they are baffled the crimes took place even though the children are sent to school with police escorts, particularly women cops. “There are also women peons in school and it is shocking the accused victimized children in their presence. We have just started the probe. It will cover all these aspects,” said Vijay Kadam, senior inspector, Trombay police.

The 2011 Panvel case was brought to light by a Bombay high court-appointed committee investigating the condition of children’s shelters in the state. The committee, headed by TISS professor Dr Asha Bajpai, exposed the Panvel ‘house of horrors’. Kalyani Mahila and Balak Seva Sanstha in Panvel had no facilities for mentally challenged children. Medical tests showed the girls had been raped and tortured. A year ago, a sessions court convicted six in the case. All 19 girls rescued from the Panvel home and 18 children from Thane were brought to the children’s home in Mankhurd.

“We waited for the government to provide measures to rehabilitate these girls. But when it failed to do so, we set up a TISS-backed field action project called Chunauti for all 93 mentally challenged children at the institution,” Bajpai said. “We even helped 25 children, who were doing very well, attend school on the campus for the first time in their lives. They were integrated into the system along with regular children,” said Bajpai. The two girls who were abused were among the 25, and almost on their way to being fully rehabilitated. “The alleged sexual abuse of these two girls is a huge setback in their rehabilitation.”

It is because of the close bond the counsellors developed with the kids since 2012 that one of the girls was able to confide in them about the abuse. It took effort and time to get her to reveal details. The other victim, who is speech-impaired, needs further probing. “We will have to develop training for school staff.”


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