Three teachers of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in Akola were arrested on Saturday on charges of sexual assault of girls in the residential school.
While two absconding teachers Rajan Gajbhiye and Shailesh Ramteke were nabbed from Nagpur district around midnight, Sandeep Ladkhedkar was detained from the school campus.
Gajbhiye and Ramteke, respectively the chemistry and biology teachers, had been on the run from the middle of this week, while parents of the abused girls withdrew the name of Ladkhedkar, the physical education teacher, from the complaint since he apologised for the transgression.
“After successful campaign and police efforts, all the three accused teachers have been arrested, we would ensure that the case is taken to a logical end,” said Dr Asha Mirge, a member of the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission.
Located in Babhulgaon, about ten kilometres from Akola railway station, the JNV has 359 students from poor background. Akola is 600 kilometres from Mumbai.
As many as 55 students of the school have complained against the teachers variously of using vulgar language, molestation and making sexual advances. The probe was supervised by inspector of the Civil Lines police station D Dakhane. Police tracked the mobile numbers of the two accused to Nagpur from where they were arrested.
“A majority of the victims are from poor families and have been inducted into JNV after passing a rigorous entrance exam,” Dr Mirge said, adding that Maharashtra has 30 JNVS out of 600. The Women’s Commission has dispatched its trauma teams to all the 30 JNV Schools in the state to ascertain if abuses in the scale found in Akola were taking place there.
“We request students and teachers to come forward and report sexual abuse incidents,” Dr Mirge said.