AURANGABAD: Police booked a male teacher at a government-aided residential school in Beed district on Saturday for allegedly forcing the girl students to bathe naked in the open and sexually abusing them at night.

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The matter came to light when a class 7 student of the school situated in Shirur taluka of Beed district wrote to an advocacy group - 'Lek Ladki Abhiyan' - complaining about the teacher, who allegedly made them bathe before him and made sexual advances towards them during night time.

The accused has been continuing this for the past five months, wrote the student, after her parents pulled her out of school and got her married, despite her being a minor.

Shirur police lodged a complaint under several sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and Sexual Harassment Act of the Indian Penal Code against the teacher, who is absconding.

This comes close on the heels of alleged rape of tribal girls in an ashramshala in Buldhana. SP Beed G Sreedhar told TOI , "We will arrest him shortly." The residential school hosts 120 children, including 36 girls. It has separate residential facilities for boys and girls studying up to standard VII.

The school has eight male teachers, two of whom live in the school for a week by rotation. It however, does not have a female teacher or warden.

"We visited the school accompanied by senior government officials from the social welfare department. When asked, the girls shared their experiences of sexual abuse as mentioned in the letter," said Abhiyan founder Varsha Deshpande.

Courtesy TOI