India

India rape claim: Bangalore school chairman arrested

Parents protest outside the school in Bangalore where a six-year-old student was allegedly raped. Image copyright Press trust of india
Image caption Parents have accused the school of being in denial

Police in India have arrested the chairman of a school where a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by staff.

Rustom Kerawala was taken into custody on Tuesday night, police said.

At the weekend, a skating instructor at the Bangalore school was arrested and police said he had a laptop with indecent videos of children.

The alleged assault happened on 2 July but her parents discovered it several days later, after she complained of stomach ache and was taken to hospital.

"Rustom Kerawala, chairman of Vibgyor High School, was arrested under various sections of the IPC [Indian Penal Code], Juvenile Justice Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso)," Bangalore police commissioner MN Reddi told a press conference on Wednesday morning.

The arrest comes after days of protests by parents and activists, who were angry at how the school handled the allegations.

Earlier, Mr Kerawala had offered his "sincere apologies" to the parents and promised "full co-operation" with the police investigation.

But angry parents began a boycott of the school and many said they would stop sending their children there until they had assurances about better security.

The assault on the child is the latest in a series of brutal gender-related crimes that have caused outrage in India.

Scrutiny of sexual violence has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a Delhi bus.

The crime sparked days of protests and forced the government to introduce tougher anti-rape laws, including the death penalty.

But the law appears to have failed to act as a deterrent. Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau for 2013 show one rape was reported every 21 minutes.