Teacher, peon arrested for ‘raping’ kids in Bastar hostel

A teacher and peon of a residential school in Kanker district of Bastar region have been arrested following allegations that they had been raping minor girls at the hostel. The tribal girls, between the ages of eight and 12 and numbering at least 11, had reportedly complained repeatedly of the alleged assaults but police said they came to know about the abuse only on Saturday.

The assaults allegedly happened till August. Peon Dina Nath would reportedly take the girls to his room and then rape them along with teacher Mannu Ram. An FIR has been filed against them.

"We learnt about the incident only yesterday. We took the statements of the girls and are now getting them medically examined," Kanker SP Rahul Bhagat told The Indian Express, adding that rape has been confirmed in the case of at least seven.

Bhagat admitted that it may be difficult to establish the alleged assaults as the last such incident reportedly took place in August. "Since the cases are very old, it is not very easy to have medical evidence related to rape," Bhagat said.

Kanker Collector Alarmelmangai D said: "We received a complaint on Friday that girls in that hostel were being sexually exploited. We immediately sent a team of women officers, they spoke with the girls and found that it was true."

Asked why it took so long to learn about the abuse, she said: " We have learnt that the girls first complained to the hostel superintendent but she did not take any action. She will also face action."

A probe team has been set up under IPS officer Neethu Kamal.

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