3-yr-old molested in Mumbai school bus

A month after a school bus cleaner was booked for molesting a toddler in a moving bus, Mumbai Police on February 21 registered a similar offence in which a three-year-old girl from a playgroup in Malad was molested by a school bus staffer. Just as in the previous case, a woman attendant was present in the moving bus when the incident occurred, in this case as well.

Sandeep Pandurang Mandale (24), a cleaner in the nursery school bus, was identified by the schoolgirl and booked under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and IPC. Mandale, a Santacruz resident, was employed with the school for the past seven months.

On February 20, when the girl reached home from the playgroup, she shocked her father by kissing him on his lips. When asked, the child spoke of her "bus uncle" who did the same to her. "The girl told her father that the 'bus uncle' had kissed her on her lips the previous day on their way home from school," said Mahesh Patil, DCP (Zone 11).

When contacted, a school spokesperson said, "The transport head and security head of the school accompanied the parent, and insisted the matter be reported to police. The cleaner and the woman attendant were handed over to police."

"We are happy that the child cried foul and the misdemeanour came to our notice; this is the only way for us to know, so we can isolate and discipline the miscreants who the children in their innocence call 'uncle' and 'bhaiyya'. We hope the law takes a serious view of this offence and announces severe punishment," the school spokesperson said.

The accused has denied his involvement.

60-year-old Mumbai school staffer convicted of sexually assaulting 4-yr-old

A sessions court Monday sentenced a 60-year-old school watchman to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for sexually abusing a four-year-old girl on the school premises. The classteacher of the child and a school help were acquitted of charges of criminal intimidation and causing hurt. Due to a delay in registering the case, the prosecution failed to establish rape. Sessions Judge P G Ganediwala, however, said: "Although intercourse could not be proved, something was inserted in to the prosecutrix's (victim's) vagina is proved beyond doubt." In February 2011, watchman Telam Singh had taken the child to the activity room of Kalina Education Society in Santacruz and assaulted her sexually. ENS

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