Pune school vice-principal held for bid to rape student

The police have arrested the vice-principal of Don Bosco School in Pune's Yerwada for allegedly molesting and attempting to rape a 14-year-old SSC student in his office.

The incident allegedly happened around 1 pm on January 2. Police said the girl's mother was confused and unsure whether to go to police, but had decided to lodge a complaint after her daughter had continued to be in shock and had refused to go to school.

The school official, 54-year-old Iju Francis Falkau, was arrested on Monday and produced before Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S S Patil on Tuesday, who remanded him in police custody until January 25.

He has been booked under IPC Sections 354 (assaulting or using criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 376 (rape) and 511 (attempting to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment).

Police said the girl joined the school in class 10 in the current academic year. Vice-principal Falkau also teaches her class.

According to the complaint, the girl had gone to the church on the school premises with her mother and a friend on January 1, where Falkau approached her and asked her to meet him in his office after school the next day.

On January 2, when the girl went to the vice-principal's office around 1 pm, Falkau allegedly shut and latched the door and attempted to rape her.

The girl managed to break free and run out to three of her friends, to whom she narrated the incident. She also told her mother, but had not been able to summon the courage to go back to school, police said. Police told the court that they needed custody of the accused to investigate if he had harassed other girls as well, and to bring him before the girl's friends who had rushed towards his office when they heard her scream for help.

"It seems the suspect knew the girl and her family very well. He has denied all allegations, and has said he did not remember any such incident having taken place," Sub-Inspector Reshma Mulani, who is investigating, said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Prakash Gharge said IPC sections 376 and 511 had been invoked because the accused was suspected to have attempted to rape the girl.

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