A 36-year-old man who worked as an official driver for the principal of a private school in Hyderabad was arrested by police on Tuesday for allegedly sexually abusing a four-year-old student at the school. The defendant threatened the child with dire consequences if she revealed the abuse to anyone and continued to exploit him for two months, police said.

Following a complaint from the child’s mother, the police registered a case under Section 376 AB (Rape of a woman under 12) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO). Police took the child’s statement after being advised and carried out his medical examination, after which the accused was taken into custody later that day.

A police officer told indianexpress.com that the accused had worked at the school for 12 years and was later appointed as the school principal‘s driver. He is married and lives with his wife, son (10) and daughter (2) in Attapur, police said. At school, he is used to running errands for the staff and also helps with maintaining the labs.

On Monday, when students were taken to the digital classroom to show videos as part of their lesson, he allegedly touched her inappropriately. “We recorded a case of rape. Upon verification, we learned that there had been no complaints or similar criminal cases against the accused in the past. The investigation is ongoing. The accused is taken into custody,” the policeman said.

The incident came to light after the child’s mother observed behavioral changes in her daughter. The daughter was depressed and confided in the mother on Monday, police said.

Parents of other students joined the mother in questioning the school administration on Tuesday. They staged a protest outside the school and brutalized the accused in front of the school principal, whose videos were widely shared on social media.

Other parents went to the police station and staged a protest sit-in demanding the arrest of the school principal and strict action against the school management for negligence.