MUMBAI: At least 50 students on the rolls of the tribal residential school where some girl students were raped about a month back in Buldhana district of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region were found to be non-existent.
The state government has now decided to link grants for tribal students with their Aadhaar umbers after the misappropriation of funds came to light.
Thirteen people, including the principal and teachers of the school at Pale, have been arrested over charges of rape and outraging the modesty of girl students.
Now, fresh cases of forgery have been registered against four persons, including the principal, Vanita Sonavane, the tribal project officer in Akola, told Express. After the school’s licence was revoked following the arrests, the process to accommodate the 388 students of the school in nearby schools began.
The officers were puzzled when they couldn’t trace 50 of the students listed in school documents. They searched all the 62 villages for the students and came to the conclusion that the students were not there in the school in first place. “We didn’t pay any grants to the school this year. But we are checking records for grants given in the past few years to ascertain the quantum of misappropriation,” Sonavane said.
Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar said that the government had decided to link grants to tribal schools with Aadhaar numbers of the students to prevent this kind of misappropriations in future.