1. The rape of the10-year-old girl studying in a state-aided tribal boarding school in Khamgaon tehsil of Buldhana in Vidarbha came to light after the Class 4 student complained of a stomach ache, which was alluded to pregnancy. This happened when she was home for Diwali vacations. The family approached senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who escalated the matter with the authorities. An FIR was filed by the Buldhana police.
2. The Maharashtra government formed a Special Investigation team (SIT) led by a superintendent of police rank officer, to investigate the case filed under relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Parents of four more girls from the school came forward suspecting that their daughters were also victims of sexual assault.
3. The Buldhana police filed a second FIR in the case on Saturday, after another girl, a Class 6 student, complained that the main accused was Ittu Singh Pawar, a sweeper at the school. So far, 15 people including Pawar have been arrested in the case.
4. The state government has cancelled the registration of the boarding school. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that a special team of women officers from social justice and women and child development departments will visit the thousand and odd tribal schools in the state to interact with girl students to find out the ground realities.
5. Just last month, the governor of the state Ch Vidyasagar Rao had cautioned the state government about sexual harassment in the state’s tribal boarding schools after a report was submitted by a committee studying the reasons behind death of 700 tribal children in such schools in the past ten years. The committee had warned about the dangers of sexual harassment and asked state to put in place an internal committee to study such complaints, and sensitise the school staff and students on sexual abuse and child rights.