UK & World News

  • 19 July 2014, 20:18

'School Rape' Prompts Demonstrations In India

Thousands of Indians have marched to demand arrests in the case of a six-year-old girl allegedly raped while at school.

Two staff members at the private school in Bangalore are accused of the rape, which was reported last week.

Police said the girl was assaulted when she left her classroom to go to the restroom on July 2.

They said she was recovering, but gave no further details.

Parents have accused school authorities of trying to "hush up the criminal act".

More than 4,000 demonstrators took to the streets.

"The school management is trying to protect the accused as it failed to register a case when the child told her class teacher," said parentNandish Reddy.

The school, which cannot be named for legal reasons, has assured police of "full cooperation".

Protestors marched from the school to the police station in charge of the investigation.

Police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar appealed to the demonstrators to "have patience and bear with us".

"I request you to have faith in us. We are going to take action against the accused," he told the crowd.

Police have been "working 24/7 over the last four days to investigate the case", he added.

A rape is reported every 21 minutes in India.

Two teenage girls were allegedly gang-raped and their bodies left hanging from a tree, in May.

Indian officials have faced growing public anger since the December 2012 fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving bus in New Delhi.

Human Rights group Amnesty International India said Indian schools must introduce "clear policies" to prevent sexual violence against children.

"Schools must institute mechanisms that enable concrete,pre-emptive steps to prevent such acts of violence, including by carrying out sensitisation and training programmes," said Tara Rao, director the group.

India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, has promised "zero tolerance" toward crimes against women.

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