Mazhar Ali TNN

Chandrapur:

The superintendent and deputy superintendent of a tribal girls’ hostel attached to an English medium school in Rajura town of Chandrapur were arrested over the weekend for sexual abuse of girls.

The arrests were made after medical tests confirmed the rape of two girls, aged 9 and 11, who were admitted to Chandrapur Government Hospital on April 6 for overdose of sedatives. Sources said police recovered condoms and Viagra pills from hostel superintendent Chaban Pachare’s office.

Activists said more girls might have been abused, and alleged that 13 of them had fallen unconscious on April 6. Police said they have obtained the names of girls who had fallen unconscious and have sent teams to their houses to record their statements. Sources said the hostel has 300 students, including 130 girls.

Girls were sexually abused for over a year: Activist

Chaban Pachare was arrested on Saturday and hostel deputy superintendent Narendra Virutkar on Sunday. “We have arrested two employees of the tribal hostel after incriminating material was recovered from the office of one of them on the hostel premises,” SP Maheshwar Reddy told TOI. He said one more girl who claimed to have suffered bouts of unconsciousness has been sent for a medical examination.

Social worker Raju Kukde, who met the SP, alleged 13 girls had fallen unconscious on April 6. They were taken to a private hospital in Rajura. Two were in a serious condition and referred to Chandrapur GMCH. During initial examination, the doctor found a swelling in the private parts of one of the girls and suspected rape. He tipped off the Mardani Mahila Manch, which first raised the issue with the police. Offences under IPC Section 376 (a)(b) and Section 4 of the Pocso Act and the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were registered.

Social worker Paromita Goswami said more girls might have been abused, and the exploitation had been going on probably for over a year. The father of a girl claimed his daughter had suffered bouts of unconsciousness even two years ago. The hostel management violated norms by allowing males into the girls’ hostel at night, she added, and demanded the arrest of warden Neeta Thakre.

The director of the institute which runs the hostel is Congress ex-MLA Subhash Dhote. Rajpura MLA Sanjay Dhote on Monday demanded immediate cancellation of the registration of the tribal hostel and the shifting of all its tribal students to other hostels