The horrific footage shows the child, who had just wheeled in a bicycle, being approached by a man. As he speaks, he reaches out to touch her. When the girl moves backward, he advances, hand outstretched. When she is completely back to the wall, he grabs her. Another man who had walked in, does not intervene. He looks on and then walks off.
The video is from an upscale locality in Shivpuri, nearly 300 km from state capital Bhopal. The men, the police said, were workmen employed to whitewash the building.
Senior police officer Sunil Pandey told NDTV, “The parents approached us with the CCTV footage. On its basis, both accused have been arrested today”.
The incident comes amid the nationwide concern about the safety of children in schools, triggered by the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur in Gurgaon’s Ryan International School. The boy had been killed allegedly by a conductor of the school’s bus, who had molested him.
A video from the school had captured the child crawling out of the toilet and collapse outside in a pool of blood. His throat had been slit.
Madhya Pradesh has been found to be one of the most unsafe places for women and children. Government data for five consecutive years – from 2011 to 2016 – has showed a high rate of crimes against women and children.
The National Crime Records Bureau data showed 35 cases of sexual abuse and crimes against children were reported every day in the state in 2015-2016.