State tribal school shut; four more held for sex­ual as­sault HOW THE CRIME CAME TO LIGHT

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Pradip Ku­mar Maitra pradip­maitra@hin­dus­tan­times.com Suren­dra P Gan­gan suren­dra.gan­gan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment on Satur­day closed down the Buld­hana tribal board­ing school where six mi­nor girls were al­legedly sex­u­ally ex­ploited by mem­bers of the staff.

Four more peo­ple, in­clud­ing a for­mer sarpanch of the vil­lage, have been ar­rested for their in­volve­ment.

Sources said the school’s 400odd stu­dents will be shifted to gov­ern­ment-run ashramsha­las close by.

Ra­jagopal De­vara, sec­re­tary, tribal de­vel­op­ment depart­ment, con­firmed the de­vel­op­ment.

“Ra­jeev Jad­hav, com­mis­sioner for tribal de­vel­op­ment, is­sued or­ders for can­celling the school’s regis­tra­tion and sus­pend­ing the em­ploy­ees,” De­vara told HT.

Vi­jaya Ra­hatkar, the chair­per­son of the state women’s com­mis­sion, vis­ited the school and met the sur­vivors. She said all ac­cused staffers were sus­pended and that the rape case against them will be tried in a fast-track court.

PM Naren­dra Modi will in De­cem­ber lay the foun­da­tion stone for the BJP-led state gov­ern­ment’s grand mid-sea me­mo­rial for the Maratha king Shivaji.

The move comes at a time the state is try­ing to pacify the Maratha com­mu­nity that has been protest­ing statewide for reser­va­tions. CM Deven­dra Fad­navis has in­di­cated the con­struc­tion of the me­mo­rial is likely to be­gin early next year.

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