[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, Feb 8: A warden at the Narottam Nagar (Tirap)-based Ramakrishna Mission School (RKMS), Subir Sanyal, accused of molesting a six-year-old child, was granted bail by the special judge (POCSO Act) of the east sessions division, Tezu, on 7 February.
The warden has been granted bail on “execution of bail bond of Rs 30,000, with two sureties of like amount, one of which must be a government employee” of Arunachal, the court ruled.
The judge while granting bail put two conditions, including that the accused should appear before the court as and when summoned. The court has fixed the next hearing on 18 March.
Public prosecutor T Uli earlier argued that, once granted bail, it would be hard to secure the warden’s appearance during trial. The counsel for the alleged accused, T Boo, however, submitted before the court that the recorded statements of the victim were contradictory, and that the FIR had been lodged late.
The warden had been taken into judicial custody following allegation of sexual assault on a six-year-old child on 12 November last year, but was soon released. He was rearrested on 15 November, following a public outcry which prompted intervention by the Tirap administration.
Speaking to this reporter on Friday, the mother of the child expressed disappointment at the granting of bail.
“Once bail is granted, there is every possibility that the warden will leave the state,” she said. “He should be punished and no one should come forward to secure his bail. My child suffered, and I have to bear the burden for a lifetime.”
In January this year, the mother had sought a fact-finding committee to investigate the case. In a memorandum to the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the mother had sought action, “as deemed fit,” in the case.
She had also urged the commission to direct school authorities to ensure the safety and security of children in all the schools of the state.
Copies of the memorandum were submitted to the offices of the chief minister, the governor, and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
The mother is yet to hear from the NCPCR.
She said she received a call from the school on 28 September, a day before the school closed for vacation last year, asking her to take out the child as he was unwell.
She took the child to doctors in Deomali, who referred the case to Dibrugarh in Assam.
The doctors there told the mother that it was a clear case that the child had been tortured or sexually assaulted.
“I thought my child had urinary tract infection. It never occurred to me that someone would assault a child,” she had said, speaking to this daily on 26 November.
She recalled that she had earlier been called to the school on 19 September as her son had been complaining of stomach and back aches. On 11 November, the child disclosed what had happened with him, prompting the mother to lodge a police complaint.
The mother later accused the police of not doing enough because of pressure from the RKMS authorities and powerful alumni of the school.
The RKMS authorities suspended the warden following his arrest.
[ Tongam Rina ]