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Parents boycott Indian school after 6-year-old alleges rape by staff

Parents at a school in Bangalore, India, where a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by two staff members, have undertaken a boycott. Children will not return to the school, parents say, until they are assured "the students will be safe during their time there."
By JC Finley   |   July 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

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NEW DELHI, July 18 (UPI) -- Parents are protesting a school in Bangalore, India by launching a boycott in response to claims that a six-year-old girl was raped by two staff members.

"We have told the management that we do not think it is safe to send our children to school until it concedes our demands on the security of our children in writing, Anita Makharia, a parent, told the BBC.

Mayank Kumar, the father of three girls enrolled at the school, said "Right from the beginning, the school has been in denial mode." At first, he said the school claimed "it was a case of theft. Then, we got to know about the incident from the newspapers that it was rape."

The six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a gym teacher and security guard at her school in the southern Indian city of Bangalore on July 2.

Her parents became aware of the sexual assault after the little girl complained of stomach pain and was taken to a hospital.

Police registered the case but have not yet arrested anyone. Authorities are still trying to determine who among the multiple gym teachers and security guards at the school assaulted the girl.

Until parents say they're confident "that the students will be safe during their time there," Pradeep Anand said parents will keep their children out of school.

School chairman Rustom Kerawal addressed a parents meeting on Thursday, promising "full cooperation" in the investigation and offering his "sincere apologies."

Sexual violence against women and girls in India has sparked public outrage. On July 7, a 14-year-old girl was raped in retaliation for her brother's inappropriate behavior toward a married woman. In May, two girls, ages 14 and 16, were gang-raped and hanged in the Budaun district in Uttar Pradesh state. Protesters took to the streets to call for an end to sexual violence against women and girls.

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