In the fallout of alleged rape of a six-year old girl at a public school that triggered public outrage, Bangalore Police has issued tough guidelines to schools in the city for safety of children and warned of prosecution in the event of its non-compliance.
Under the guidelines, school buses should fix GPS and CCTV cameras and drivers should be isolated and not allowed to mingle with the children after they had parked the vehicles.
"Unnecessary interaction with the children... that should be avoided because we have found that these people also have been accused in some cases," Bangalore Police Commissioner M N Reddi told media persons releasing the guidelines.
Schools are required to depute one Floor Vigilance Officer, who would sit in a transparent cabin, where he could keep a watch on "someone coming - whether children are going to bathroom, whether someone is entering classrooms. If they see any problem they will report it to the school authorities," he said.
Areas like gym and swimming pools and other sports facilities should be confined to persons who are authorised and connected with the subject they are teaching, Reddi said.
"Teachers cannot come in the skating ring and loiter around. Only the skating instructor should be there," he said, as the measures came after nearly week-long protests with public anger mounting over the shocking incident.
The incident happened on July 2 at high-profile VibgyorHigh School but the complaint was lodged by parents with police on July 14.
The skating instructor Mustafa was arrested a week later as the main accused and the school founder-chairman Rustom Kerawalla was arrested three days ago on charge of suppressing evidence among others.
The incident had led to change in senior top echelon of police with Reddi coming in as city police chief.
"I am issuing an order to all schools including Vibgyor under Karnataka Police Act to implement the guidelines and we are also telling that if they do not implement guidelines they will be prosecuted under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (negligence leading to injury and danger to the life of a person)," Reddi said.
If Vibgyor did not implement the guidelines by August 14, the management will be booked under Section 188 of IPC, Reddi said, adding, the deadline for other schools is August 31.
According to the guidelines, parents who come to drop and pick children should be issued identity cards, and if they are unable to come they should furnish mobile numbers to school authorities so that they could SMS the identity of the third person who comes to pick or drop children, Reddi said.
A rash of rape cases in the city in recent days had triggered public outrage and revulsion over rising number of sexual offences against women and children, with government coming under fire for not doing enough to curb them.
Apart from the school incident, a 22-year woman was allegedly raped on July 10 midnight when she was seated in a car with her friend as four persons forcibly entered their car and drove them away with one of them committing the crime.
In another incident, a 15-year old nun was allegedly raped in a seminary. No arrest has been made in the incident. The incidents had rocked both houses of the Karnataka Legislature as the opposition hauled the government over the coals, demanding resignation of Home Minister K J George.