Student alleges molestation; Chate Classes owner held, granted bail

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A 17-year-old student was allegedly molested by Machindra Chate, the owner of coaching institute Chate Classes in Dadar East, Wednesday evening, police said.

Chate allegedly abused the student, put his hand on her shoulder and pulled at her top in a fit of rage during a meeting at his Dadar East office. The student lodged a complaint at Bhoiwada police station at 9.10 pm Wednesday. On learning that he had been charged with molestation, Chate surrendered Thursday afternoon.

He was produced before a magistrate at Bhoiwada Court and released on bail.

"We have charged him under Sections 354 (using criminal force to outrage a woman's modesty) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and are in the process of filing a chargesheet," said Vikram Patil, senior inspector.

Police said students at the Dadar East branch of Chate Classes were angry as classes were not being conducted regularly, and had held a meeting with Chate at 5.30 pm Wednesday.

About 12 students and their parents attended the meeting but were not happy with the outcome. They said classes had not been held properly since November, and with few days remaining for the board exams, a large part of the syllabus was yet to be covered.

Police said Chate offered to refund their fees and relocate them to the Dadar West branch but the students refused. Unsatisfied with the offer, the victim's uncle allegedly slapped Chate, who then called police.

"The students confronted him and demanded to know if he would bear responsibility for their academic performance. Chate started abusing them and put his hand on the student's shoulder. She screamed and her parents rushed to her aid. Later, they registered a complaint," Patil said.

Patil added that the girl's uncle, too, has been slapped with a non-cognizable offence and let off with a warning.

Chate's lawyer Arun Deshmkuh dismissed the allegations. "Chate has been granted bail. We will now pursue assault and defamation by the girl's uncle further," he said.

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