Playschool: magistrate urged to record statements of kids in mothers' presence

Playschool: magistrate urged to record statements of kids in mothers' presence

Mothers are likely to be permitted to be present inside the hall when their children make statements before the magistrate in connection with sexual assaults of children at the playschool at Marathahalli.

The recording of statements is likely to take place at a place of mutual choice by the mothers and the magistrate. The police will stay off from the hall when the recording happens. “Statements made before the magistrate carry a lot of weightage. I assure that recording of the statements will take place in presence of mothers and the magistrate and it will be done in the absence of police,” Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood told reporters here on Saturday.

“We want the children feel at home when they record statements. Considering the children’s age, we have requested the magistrate to record the statements in the presence of the mothers. We have also requested the magistrate to record the statements in a place mutually convenient to the mothers and the magistrate. We hope the magistrate would consider our requests,” he added. The police have decided to go to the houses of children to record statements. “We will not call the children to the police stations.

We will go to the children’s houses for recording statements. There is some sort of apprehension about medical examination of the victimised children. I request the parents to cooperate the with the police in completing the medical examination of the children,” the commissioner said.

“We will not spare those who neglected the children’s safety. Those who have committed the acts and those who have permitted the acts will be brought to the book,” Sood said.

“We will do anything that is possible including taking the help of child psychologists. The parents have every right to stage a protest on Sunday,” he said and added that norms prevent managements from employing male staff at the playschool. The management violated the norm and had employed Manjunath. Regarding violations of school safety guidelines issued by the Benglauru City police commissioner in 2014, Sood said: “The school managements should follow the guidelines strictly in their interest. The Education department is the competent authority to conduct checks about violations and the police have no role in this.”

8 FIRs registered

The police have registered 8 FIRs in connection with the incident, six against Manjunath, the suspect, and two against the school management, so far. The police have booked the suspect and the management under the Pocso Act. The police arrested four-Manjunath, the prime suspect, Dr Veena, Kingston and Praveen, the trio from the management. The trio obtained the bail and came out, while Manjunath has been remanded in judicial custody.

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