A tribal teenager allegedly raped repeatedly in a Chhattisgarh government-run residential school in Balod district six years ago has finally gathered the courage to bring her tormentors, one of whom was her “influential” hostel superintendent, to justice.
The 19-year-old college student decided to fight back after the police arrested those accused in a similar case — the alleged rape of 12 tribal minors in another state-run tribal residential school in Kanker district — a week ago.
The police have arrested Anita Thakur, the former hostel superintendent of the residential school in Balod district, around 140 km from Raipur. The teenager has complained that Thakur forced her to sleep several times with one of her male friends. According to her complaint, she was first raped in the hostel when she was in Class 8.
Thakur, felicitated on separate occasions by chief minister Raman Singh and a minister for her work, was in charge of the school from 2003 till 2012. A court on Saturday remanded Thakur in judicial custody. Police have started a hunt for the man who raped the teenager when she was a minor.
The teenager told reporters, “Owing to social shame and the fear of the superintendent, who was quite influential, I could not muster the courage to fight back. After the Kanker incident, I got some hope that the police will act against those who abused me.”
“We are investigating the possibility of other students having been abused during Thakur’s tenure,” Balod superintendent of police DL Manhar said on Sunday.
State home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar expressed shock over the Balod crime and the fact that Thakur had been publicly felicitated. “This is the failure of the intelligence. The officials should keep track of such people who take advantage of their influence and get honoured.”
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