Citizens' Issues
Navodaya Vidyalaya's 55 girls allege molestation

Police have registered cases under Indian Penal Code Section 354, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act under Sections 8,9,10,11, against the teachers, who are on the run

 

A manhunt has been launched to arrest two teachers who face charges of molesting 55 students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in Akola, Maharashtra, an official said here on Friday.
 
Based on mobile telephone tracking, the Akola Civil Lines police have detected the two teachers to be hiding somewhere in Amravati and sent a police team to nab them, said Maharashtra Women's Commission (MWC) member Asha Mirge.
 
"These 55 girls, aged between 13-17 have given me a written, signed statement about the incident involving the two teachers, who indulged in pervert talks, molested them and made sexual advances," Mirge told IANS.
 
She met district collectorate officials with just one demand - nab the culprits and book them to serve as an example to others.
 
The JNVs, directly administered by the human resource development ministry, were founded with a task of discovering talented children from economically backward sections and providing them with the best of education and residential accommodation to bring them to the mainstream.
 
"A majority of the victims is from very poor families but extremely intelligent and has been inducted into the JNV after passing a rigorous entrance exam," said Mirge, a gynaecologist.
 
The two teachers - Rajan Gajbhiya, 42, and Shailesh Ramteke, 49 - escape and went into hiding after Mirge brought the incident to the notice of district collector Arun Shinde, district Superintendent of Police Chandrakishore Mina, and Principal R. Singh.
 
"I plan to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and write to HRD Minister Smrit Irani, demanding safety and security for all the girls in such 600 residential JNVs around India," Mirge added.
 
Earlier, the principal informed Mirge that an internal committee had forwarded its report over the incident to the JNV divisional commissioner, Pune, who is in-charge of 64 schools in Maharashtra, 33 in Gujarat, 26 in Goa and Daman and Diu (two each), and one in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
 
Mirge also spoke to many of the 359 girls studying in JNV at Akola and most of them complained about the misbehaviour of the two teachers who spoke of sex organs, and how to use condoms over the past few months, which the students found offensive.
 
The MWC has dispatched its trauma teams to each of the JNVs in the state to ascertain if there were similar incidents elsewhere.
 
In December 2014, when Mirge exposed the sexual assault of 32 girls, including seven who were raped and one who committed suicide at the Tapovan Vidyalaya in Amravati, the school was shut down, she said.
 
"In the past few months, there have been five such major incidents of sexual exploitation or harassment of girls in such residential schools in the state. Unfortunately, the HRD minister has not even reacted to all these going-on," Mirge lamented.
 
Police have registered cases under Indian Penal Code Section 354, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act under Sections 8,9,10,11, against the teachers, who are on the run.
 

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Convicted of assault, Goa minister resigns

A spokesperson for the Chief Minister's Office confirmed that Pacheco submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in the morning and it was accepted

 

Goa Archives and Archaeology Minister Francisco Pacheco, who was convicted in an assault case upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this week, resigned from the cabinet on Friday.
 
A spokesperson for the Chief Minister's Office confirmed that Pacheco submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in the morning and it was accepted.
 
Parsekar had told reporters on Wednesday that it was embarrassing to have a convicted minister in his cabinet.
 
Pacheco, a legislator from Nuvem, has a string of cases against him related to extortion, assault, bigamy and money laundering. 
 
He was booked in July 2006 for assaulting Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer in the state power department.
 
Pacheco, who heads the Goa Vikas Party, was sworn in as minister during a cabinet expansion in November after former chief minister Manohar Parrikar was elevated to the union cabinet.
 

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'Air evacuation of Indians from Sana'a in Yeman likely'

So far, the Indian government has been able to evacuate more than 700 Indian nationals from Yemen and 350 have come back home

 

The government said on Friday there is likelihood it would launch evacuation of Indians by air from the Yemeni city of Sana'a even as an Indian naval ship left the Yemeni port of Al Hodeidah with 306 Indians on board for Djibouti to be flown back to India.
 
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted that the government is "working on all fronts" to pull out its citizens from strife-torn Yemen.
 
"Working on all fronts. We are making all out efforts to significantly enhance evacuation of Indian nationals from Yemen," he tweeted.
 
Akbaruddin said that 35 Indian nationals crossed over from Yemen to Saudi Arabia and are now in Gizan, a port city near the Yemen border. He said that MEA officials are assisting them to return to India.
 
He said: "If all goes well, we will be able to begin air evacuation from Sana'a."
 
So far, the Indian government has been able to evacuate more than 700 Indian nationals from Yemen and 350 have come back home.
 
"Around 2,000-2,500 Indian nationals wish to come back and we hope to significantly enhance evacuation efforts," the MEA spokesman said.
 
On Thursday night, 306 Indian nationals were safely evacuated from the western Yemeni port city of Al Hodeidah by sea on board INS Sumitra to Djibouti, which is on the Horn of Africa.
 
Defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted that one more Globemaster C-17 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force is arriving in Djibouti from Jamnagar in India.
 
INS Sumitra is expected to arrive at Djibouti by Friday afternoon, after which the Indians would be flown back to India.
 
The 306 Indians who left Al Hodeidah port, on the western coast of Yemen, comprised 251 men, 38 women and 17 children.
 
On early Thursday morning, 358 Indians arrived from Yemen in two airplanes - one landed in Kochi, and the other in Mumbai.
 

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