After facing flak from the opposition for the rising number of rape cases in Maharashtra the state government has finally decided to cancel the registration of Ninadhi Ashram School in Hivarkheda, Buldhana district. Those students studying in this institution will be accommodated in other schools located in nearby districts. Already the state government has been criticised for the snail paced investigation process happening in the Kopardi rape case. Earlier NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik had demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his government’s inability to prevent the occurrence of rape incidents.
Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Sawra said, “We have taken stringent action to avoid a repeat of such incidents. A SIT has been formed to investigate this matter. All the officials of the school will be dismissed from service.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government has taken a serious note of this incident. He said “Women activists will go to all the ashram schools in the state and interact with students to know about their grievances. The state government has taken this matter very seriously and action will be taken against the accused. We have formed a team under presidency of a female IPS officer to investigate this matter.”
Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly said, “Our party condemn this incident. Vishnu Sawra has been unable to address issues like death of tribal children and malnutrition. Ministers like Sawra had distributed sweater during monsoon season and rain coat during summer season. Even though there has been allegations against Sawra for indulging in corruption the Chief Minister is only trying to shield him.”
Twelve minor tribal girls have been allegedly raped by their teacher and headmaster. There are also reports about a 13 year old girl becoming pregnant after the rape incident.
SD Baviskar, Superintendent of Police, Buldhana, said: “The incident occurred prior to Diwali festival. Women police officials will interact with the victims and record their statements. So far, 10 teachers have been accused, and seven have been arrested.”
“The police have arrested 11 people in the case where a sweeper who works in the school — locally called ashramshala — is the main accused. The police are verifying whether more students of the institution were sexually assaulted,” the DGP state director general of police Satish Mathur said.
“One accused, who lives in the school campus, has played an active role in the crime. The other accused were aware about the incident, but they did not inform the police,” he added.
The incident came to light only when three of the 12 girls returned home to Halkheda village in Muktainagar taluka in Jalgaon district.
Bulesterni Sati Bhosale, Deputy Sarpanch of Halkheda village, said: “Many girls were playing and running during Diwali festival. However, three girls were sitting silently in a corner. They complained of stomach pain and feeling something heavy in their stomachs. When girls were taken to the hospital doctors informed us that they were pregnant.”