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Child-rape ire at top cop

Bangalore, July 19: The Bangalore police chief was today heckled and shouted down by parents protesting a six-year-old girl’s alleged gang rape in school in a growing backlash over a spate of sexual assaults in the city.

Raghavendra Auradkar had to beat a retreat barely five minutes into his meeting with the parents at a police station near Vibgyor School, a high-end institution where the Class I student was allegedly assaulted in the gym on July 2.

The gym instructor and a guard have been detained but Auradkar said he was waiting for corroborative evidence before making formal arrests. “This is a complicated case and we are doing everything to nail the culprits. Please give us another day or two and we’ll make sure the real culprits are brought to book,” the police chief said.

The “complicated” reference was partly a pointer to the delay in the FIR, filed 12 days later on July 14 after the girl became unwell and doctors treating her said she had been assaulted. The child is still in hospital.

But the parents would have none of it. “We will not rest until the police arrest the culprits,” said Ranjini, whose daughter studies at Vibgyor. She was among hundreds who had marched to the police station where the meeting with Auradkar took place.

The Karnataka government is learnt to have asked the ICSE to scrap the school’s recognition over the security lapse that led to the assault.

Pressure mounted in other cases too. Three more suspects have been held over an alleged car rape on July 11, adding to the three picked up earlier, including the kingpin who had posed as a cop when he lured the 22-year-old college student into the vehicle.

But the police are still clueless over the rape of a 16-year-old two days ago by intruders who had barged into her seminary. The victim is training to be a nun.