Girl was absent on Jan 2: Bosco school
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Don Bosco School, Yerawada, on Wednesday asked police to probe the genuineness of a complaint of attempt to rape and molestation made -gainst its vice-principal Egidius Falcao (61) by a 14-year-old girl student, after one of her friends claimed she is lying.
Don Bosco staff said the complainant was absent on the day the incident is alleged to have taken place. The complainant had stated that after freeing herself from Falcao who allegedly molested and attempted to rape her around 1 pm on January 2, she had narrated the incident to three of her friends, all students of the same school.
On Wednesday, a girl student, who according to the school is among these three friends, spoke to mediapersons on the issue. The girl said the complainant is lying and might have registered a false case against the Father (Falcao).
"The complainant and her mother are forcing me to give a statement against the Father. The complainant's mother is repeatedly calling me on phone insisting I help them," she said and added, "The Father is a good person. I do not feel he will molest anyone."
The school authorities said the complainant was absent from school on January 2. The school staff provided a copy of the attendance sheet showing that the complainant was absent that day. A teacher said the complainant was not good in studies and had been absent for a long time after Christmas vacation. "Father (Falcao) counselled her to focus more on studies. This might have angered her...," the teacher said.
The complainant had alleged that Falcao had asked her to meet him at his office after school on January 2. In his office, he allegedly closed the door, latched it and molested her. She tried to run away. But he allegedly stopped her and attempted to rape her.
Police have booked him under Sections 354, 376 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code.
Anton D'Souza, Father Parish priest of Don Bosco, said, "Police should probe whether the complainant is speaking the truth or not. She was absent on January 2. Let there be stern action if charges levelled by the girl are true."
According to the school, Falcao was appointed assistant Parish Priest and in-charge of Don Bosco's National Institute Open School (NIOS), Yerawada on April 14, 2012. The school said his conduct was good.
Parents of many students and Christian activists led by former corporator John Paul gathered at the school to support Falcao. Meanwhile, senior police officers said that various angles were cross-checked before Falcao was arrested.
When contacted, deputy commissioner of police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil promised a fair investigation. "School staff and students can always approach us if they have anything to say about the case," he said.