Four more persons, including a teacher, were arrested Tuesday in connection with the rape of minor inmates of a government-run residential school for tribal girls at Jhaliyamari village in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
With Tuesday's arrests, the total number of accused held in this connection so far has reached six.
Superintendent of the residential school Babita Markam, shiksha karmi (contract teacher) Sagar Katlam, Deputy Sarpanch of the village Sukalu Ram Netam and a villager Lachhu Ram were arrested on Tuesday, SP Rahul Bhagat said.
Police said the arrested accused were aware that the victims were being sexually harassed.
Two persons, including contract teacher Mannu Ram Gota (24) and school watchman Deenaram, were arrested on Sunday for allegedly raping minor inmates of the residential school located in Jhaliyamari village under Narharpur police station limits of the district.
According to police, medical examination had confirmed rape of nine out of the 40 inmates of the hostel.
"When Babita Markam and the teacher Sagar Katlam came to know about the incident of sexual assault on students in the hostel six months back, they threatened the children not to reveal it before any one," Bhagat said.
Similarly, Deputy Sarpanch Sukalu after learning about the incident in August last merely imposed fine on employees of the residential school, the SP said, adding Sukalu imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 on Babita Markam and Rs 5,000 each on Mannu Ram Gota and Deenaram.
Even Sukalu, along with a villager Lachhu Ram, had threatened the minor children not to disclose the incident, the police officer added.
In November 2012, Sukalu complained to the Block Education Officer about the incident following which an investigation was carried out.
"In his report, the BEO had suggested to remove Markam and other main accused from the residential school. He later handed over the matter to police for further probe," the SP said.
Markam and Sagar were booked for abetting the criminal offence while Sukalu and Lachhu for threatening the children, he added.
Meanwhile, mother of one of the inmates, who died under mysterious circumstances some two months back, has sought probe into the matter, Bhagat said.
"The mother of a primary student of the residential school who died two moths back has given an application seeking probe into death of her daughter. We have asked the authorities concerned for medical report of the deceased," he said.
Senior Congress leader Ajit Jogi has alleged that the deceased girl was sexually assaulted.