Teacher in police custody for ‘molesting’ schoolgirls

A special court on Wednesday remanded the visiting faculty member of an English-medium school, held for allegedly molesting about 22 Class V students, isn two days' police custody.

Following a complaint lodged by school authorities on Tuesday, the Chatushringi police had arrested the suspect - Dr Pradip Balwant Gothaskar (45) - under Sections 7, 9 (f), 10 of Protections of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The teacher happens to be a resident of Panchavati, Pashan.

Police had on Wednesday produced Gothaskar in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Joshi. Police said that custodial interrogation of Gothaskar was required to know whether he was helped by any person in committing the crime. Police said that investigation is also on to know if the suspect committed similar offences earlier.

According to police reports, Gothaskar has been working as a visiting faculty for the writing skills subject in the school since 2011. On February 5, 2013, a student of Class V brought a complaint of sexual harassment against Gothaskar for the first time to the school authorities.

The authorities then initiated an internal inquiry and found that the suspect had allegedly harassed 22 girl students of Class V. It was only after this that the school authorities approached the Pune police and senior police inspector Bhanupratap Barge of social security cell crime branch then held a meeting with the school authorities and parents of these young girls.

Following this, the school lodged a formal police complaint against the suspect.

Sub-inspector of of Chatushringi police station S N Bhoite is currently investigating the case.

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