Six inmates of Balika Ashram have alleged that the employees of the government-run orphanage drugged and exploited them.
According to a source in the child welfare department, the six girls, aged between 11 years and 18 years, narrating the ordeals to the counselors in Chamba said, "they used to feel sleepy soon after having dinner and remained drowsy till late the next morning.”
“The girls said they felt something wrong had happened with them at night,” a CWD official request anonymity.
The reports of the six complainants are expected to come on Thursday and the three accused will also be produced in a court on Thursday.
Police have seized the recording of CCTV cameras in the orphanage. “There are three CCTV cameras in the child protection home but police could only get a single day’s recording. The staff said the cameras were out of order,” they said.
The whole incident came into limelight when a 15-year-old inmate, the student of Class 10 had informed orphanage incharge Juma Khan about the sexual harassment.
After her complaint, the 33 other inmates were counseled. Following that five more girls has also reported harassment by the three employees.
On Tuesday, the statement of all six girls was recorded and the accused were booked under Section 354 A (punishment for sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 12 of POSCO Act.
“The policemen visited the child protection home in uniform. They should have come in plainclothes,” an officer in the state women and child development department said, requesting anonymity.
“The child protection home is situated in a remote area and six girls have alleged sexual harassment. This does not mean only six were abused. The number could be more. All inmates should be medically examined,” the officer said.
After the incident, Chamba deputy commissioner Sudesh Mokta replaced the male staff of the orphanage with female employees. He also ordered deploying two women home guard personnel in plainclothes at the orphanage, where 28 girls are now staying.