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Probe launched into 'sexual abuse' of HIV-infected girls in Odisha shelter home

Odisha, PTI | Updated : 22 July 2019, 01:15 PM
The mother of the girl, hailing from Balangir, has accused the shelter home’s superintendent, Saroj Das, of sexually abusing her daughter and other inmates
The mother of the girl, hailing from Balangir, has accused the shelter home’s superintendent, Saroj Das, of sexually abusing her daughter and other inmates

Authorities here have launched a probe into reports of alleged sexual abuse of girls at a shelter home meant for HIV-infected children in Kalahandi district, police said Monday. The district administration, police, Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) of Kalahandi initiated the investigation on Sunday, after local news channels reported alleged sexual abuse of an eight-year-old HIV-infected girl, who was an inmate of the centre.

The mother of the girl, hailing from Balangir, has accused the shelter home’s superintendent, Saroj Das, of sexually abusing her daughter and other inmates, police said.

In her complaint, the woman claimed that she was forced to bring her daughter back home in March. However, there was no complaint from the girl’s mother at that time, a CWC official said.

The alleged victim was lodged in the shelter home on the recommendation of the CWC and the DCPU, Balangir in August 2016, the official said.

Das, who was summoned by police for questioning, denied the allegation and said it was a conspiracy to defame him.

He, too, sought a thorough inquiry into the matter.

A police team on Monday brought the girl and her mother from Balangir to Bhawanipatna, as part of the investigation, Satya Nanda, inspector in-charge of the Bhawanipatna police station said.

The CWC has recorded their statements, police said.

On Sunday, senior officials made a surprise visit to the shelter home, verified documents and interacted with its employees and nine inmates, a police official said.

First Published: Monday, July 22, 2019 01:13 PM
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