Third Minor Alleges Rape in Buldhana Govt School for Tribals 

According to the NCP, 12 minors were raped in the boarding school. Three are suspected to be pregnant. 

3 min read
Signatures on an anti-rape banner. (Photo: Reuters)

A third girl student of a state-run boarding school for tribal children in Maharashtra’s Buldhana alleged rape on Saturday. A case has been registered against main accused Ittusingh Pawar following the latest allegation.

A total of 15 people have been arrested so far in connection with the alleged rape of two minor tribal girl students of Ninadhi Ashram Shala. The accused include the headmaster, staff and other members of the school management.

The main accused – 23-year-old school employee Ittusingh Pawar – has been charged under section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, Buldhana Superintendent of Police Sanjay Baviskar said.

The incident came into light after the victims returned to their village for Diwali in Halkheda, Jalgaon district.

Maharashtra DGP Satish Mathur said, “Thirteen people have been identified, of which 11 have been arrested and a search for the other two is on. Police will collect more information from students and other officials once the school reopens.”

Earlier, one of the minors had named only one individual. But the investigation is underway, the DGP shared.

The NCP had further given it a dramatic turn by alleging that a total of 12 girls were raped in the ashram-shala. It also demanded resignations of Tribal Minister Vishnu Savara as well as Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde.

The police also suspect that more children could have been sexually exploited. The government has set up an SIT under IPS officer Shweta Khedkar to investigate the matter.

Three Minors Pregnant?

It is also suspected that three victims are pregnant.

Deputy Sarpanch of Halkheda village, Bulesterni Sati Bhosale, told DNA: "During Diwali, many girls were running and playing. But three girls (who are related to to the Sarpanch) were sitting quietly in a corner. When we asked them why they were not playing, they said they had stomach pain and were feeling something heavy in their stomachs. When we took them to the doctor, he told us that these girls were pregnant."

‘Deplorable Crime’

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that a team of female officials has been formed to check whether the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) created to safeguard girls were being followed or not.

Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar called the horrific incident “a very serious and a deplorable crime”. He also informed that so far two girls have came forward with complaints of alleged abuse.

Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar (Photo: ANI)
Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar (Photo: ANI)

He told the media that the parents of the victims reached out to the local sarpanch, who then contacted Eknath Khadse, Jalgaon MLA.

Eknath Khadse called me last night and we then set the investigation into process. We want to be sure that none of the responsible escape accountability.
Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar

He has also ordered that the victims’ statements should be recorded on camera and the medical tests of the girls be done soon.

Additional Superintendent of Police Yashwant Solanke said, “The procedural investigations are on. The culprits will be arrested.”

(With inputs from ANI, PTI and DNA)

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