Cop probing sex abuse of 4-year-old in school removed

A city court has ordered the removal of the officer, investigating last year’s alleged sexual assault of a lower nursery student inside her school toilet, for “dereliction of duty” and asked for departmental proceedings to be initiated against her.
The case, being investigated by Kolkata Police’s detective department, will now be probed by KP’s Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) in accordance with the orders passed by the second additional district judge of the Pocso court at Alipore district and sessions court.

“We have handed over the case to an officer of inspector rank from SJPU; it is a unit that works in close coordination with the detective department and the new officer is already working on the case,” joint commissioner of police (crime) Praveen Tripathi said.

The court, in its order dated January 19, observed that the handwritten statements — recorded by the investigating officer — did not match with her signature. “It implies the officer did not write the statement herself and made someone else write it for her, which is not allowed by the court,” the girl’s counsel, Priyanka Tibrewal, said.

The court order points out that the investigating officer had recorded portions of statements of some school staffers, including the ayah and the darwan, in English whereas they had actually spoke in Bengali. “Statements under Section 161 have to be recorded verbatim in the language in which the person speaks,” Tibrewal said.

The magistrate, based on all these observations, ordered the officer be removed from the investigation and asked the joint commissioner of police (crime) to look into the matter personally and explore options of handing over the probe to a “suitable and sensitised police officer” in the SJPU or the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) or the detective department itself.

Two PT teachers of the south Kolkata school were arrested last December following a complaint of sexual assault by the lower nursery student. The duo are yet to get bail but the girl’s family moved court, citing “police inaction”.

Calcutta HC Justice Debangshu Basak heard on Friday the writ petition filed by the girl’s father, alleging police “inaction and overaction”. State counsel Abhratosh Majumdar and Tale Masud Siddiqui submitted the lower court had already transferred the investigation from the detective department to the SJPU.

“We’ve been complaining about this since the probe began. I hope the probe gets back on the right course and my daughter gets justice,” the girl’s father told TOI.

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