Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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More girls allege sexual abuse at Maharashtra shelter home, NHRC issues notice

Mumbai: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) India has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that more girls have alleged sexual exploitation at a Children’s shelter home in Nashik, Maharashtra.

Reportedly, the Director of a private facility for children in Nashik, Maharashtra was arrested by the police for allegedly subjecting a 14 years old girl to rape a few days back.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report which if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights. Prima-facie it is apparent that the concerned district authorities have failed to conduct proper supervision at the Shelter Home, which is being run within their jurisdiction.

Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Maharashtra calling for a detailed report in the matter within six weeks.

Detailed Report Must Include 

The report is expected to include the status of the FIR, by specifying penal offences involved in the case, progress and outcome of investigation, arrest of the accused, health status of the victim girls and monetary relief/rehabilitation if any, provided by the state authorities to the victims.

The Commission also asked whether any counselling has been provided to the victim inmates, especially to the minor victims of the traumatic incident.

The Commission has also asked its Special Rapporteur of NHRC for the State of Maharashtra, P.N. Dixit to make an inspection to Children’s Shelter Home in Mhasrul, Nashik district about the safety, security, vulnerability of the inmates besides food, habitation, health and welfare of the children and measures being taken for improvement of living standard of the children by submitting a detailed report within 2 months.

According to several media reports, during enquiry into the matter, 15 girl students were examined out of which six have leveled allegation of sexual abuse against the accused i.e. the Director of the Shelter Home.

An FIR under relevant sections of the POCSO Act and SC/ST (PoA) Act has been reportedly registered and the accused has been arrested by the police.

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