The Maharashtra government shut down the Nimbaji Kokre ashramshala (tribal boarding school) at Khamgaon in Buldhana district on Saturday in the wake of the controversy involving alleged rapes of minor tribal girls at the schools.
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Rajagopal Devara, Secretary, Tribal Development, said, “We’ve cancelled the permission issued to the ashramshala.” Devara added that all the teaching and non-teaching staff at the boarding school has been suspended for their alleged involvement in the crime. According to government’s records, about 287 students are enrolled in the Buldhana facility.
“The students hail from three districts —Buldhana, Akola, Jalgaon. We plan to arrange a meeting with the parents next week for accommodating them in other ashramshalas of their choice,” said Devara.
The crime came to the fore after a 10-year-old victim told her mother, who then approached senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse to take an action in the matter. Khadse reported the matter to Buldhana’s guardian minister and state Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar.
On Saturday, four more arrests were made in the case taking the total number of arrests to 15.
Meanwhile, Devara informed that the government would be forming teams of senior officials who would pay visits and interact with girls in other government and aided tribal boarding schools to check whether there were some other unreported untoward incidents. The teams would also be asked to boost the morale of the girl students, said officials.
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