TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Pune: The Chatushrungi police on Tuesday arrested a 50-year-old visiting academic of a prominent English medium school in the Aundh area here for allegedly sexually abusing about 22 girls from the fifth standard since the last two or three months.
The school authorities learnt of the abuse on February 5 after one of the girls complained to her teacher about the academic’s behaviour. The school conducted an internal inquiry and found that the academic, Pradeep Gothaksar, a resident of Panchvati, Pashan, had abused about 22 girls from the same class. The school contacted senior police inspector Bhanupratap Barge of the social security cell of the crime branch on February 22.
Barge, along with senior inspector Ajay Kadam of the Chatushrungi police station, held a meeting with the school authorities and the girls’ parents on Saturday. Barge said the parents were told of the sexual abuse during the meeting. “We also told the parents about the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and requested them to lodge a complaint with the police,” he said.
Barge said some girls had already told their parents about the sexual abuse but they had not approached the school authorities. “These parents were reluctant to approach the police too. However, we managed to convince them to lodge a complaint and also told them it would be considered a crime as per the new law if they didn’t,” he said.
Barge said a senior official of the school lodged the complaint against Gothaskar on Tuesday. Gothaskar was arrested by the Chatushrungi police in the evening and charged under sections 7, 9(F) and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.