An FIR filed in India details the purported sexual attack on a 4 year-old girl by her classfellow in a private school in Dwarka, West Delhi!
According to the report filed by the girl’s mother, the boy ‘raped’ the girl; he unbuttoned her pants and assaulted her with his finger and with a sharpened pencil.
The reported attack took place in November, 2017, and happened during a time when the teachers and other attendants were not present for supervision.
The mother sent NDTV a letter reporting the incident, in which she detailed:
“In the washroom, there was no Didi (attendant) who could help her; in the classroom, her class teacher was not around, and here child says he sharpened his pencil and put it in too.”
According to the mother, the girl complained about abdominal pain throughout the day and eventually told the story to her mother at night.
In the same letter to the NDTV, the mother added:
“The signs of assault were visible as her private part was red and swollen, and when I applied ointment to it, she started crying all the more in pain.”
The mother also reported that her complaint wasn’t properly dealt with by the school.
She text messaged the teacher in question both on Friday night and on Saturday, and was told to submit an official written complaint with the school on Monday. On Sunday, she approached the police – after having been to the Delhi Commission for Women – and filed an FIR.
On the following Thursday, the school released a statement saying it doubted the incident had occurred.
According to the school’s lawyer, NB Joshi, “There were two class teachers and an attendant in the classroom and a maid in the washroom. These four remain in contact with children all the time and the girl didn’t tell any of them during the four hours (she was in school).”
The CCTV footage was released to the mother, and according to Mr Joshi:
“It is clearly seen on CCTV footage that the boy has not entered the washroom. The little girl looks happy in the CCTV footage and nothing out of the ordinary appears to have happened on the 17th (November) with her.”
The case against the boy has been filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual offenses Act, which was set up after the 2012 gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi.
The situation becomes complicated however, when one factors in that both the parties involved are kids and that under Section 82 of the Indian Penal Code, children under 7 cannot be held responsible for any crime. A police spokesperson did highlight that the child was being counseled by experts.
It is also important to delve beyond this isolated incident and look into the driving factors behind cases of assault from children as young as this.
In this regard, Dr Samir Parikh told the Hindustan Times, “We must understand it is absolutely not possible for a four-year old to understand sexual behavior. Is there a possibility of a sexual need being fulfilled in his case? Absolutely not.”
Anuja Gupta, founder of RAHI, an NGO working with survivors of child abuse, also spoke out in this regard.
“Perhaps we need to look at the child differently. He has a sexual behavioral problem, but how does he have it? There is a possibility that either the child has been abused himself or he has seen similar behavior elsewhere and decided to enact it.”
The school has also moved the child to another section, but the victim’s mother demands that the boy be expelled.
She is also demanding for the principal and concerned teachers and staff be fired and that the school issue her daughter a public apology.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has issued a notice to the police SHO, seeking an action report in 7 days.