Six more women inmate from a government home (Nari Niketan) in Gwalior escaped on Wednesday night, leading women and child development minister Maya Singh to initiate string of serious action on Friday.
After visiting the home, the minister transferred the entire staff posted at the home and district women empowerment officer Hirendra Singh Kushwaha. Action has also been initiated against some other associated employees.
The minister appointed Sonam Jain on the vacant post of superintendent of the home and Shalin Sharma as the new district women empowerment officer. She also directed that CCTV camera should be installed at the home and women guard be posted at the centre for security.
According to sources, the six inmates escaped the home by breaking a window frame of bathroom. None of them have been traced yet.
Earlier, on July 12, 18 inmates had left the home and later 11 at turned up at Kampoo police station, alleging harassment by the guard, who has already been suspended, and some other inmates.
These 11 girls returned to the home the same day, while another returned the next day, but six are still missing.
District project officer of women and child development, Brijesh Tripathi told HT over the phone that in all 12 girls were now missing and Kampoo police were investigating both the incidents. The officer, however, denied that the inmates faced any harassment at the home.
The government home acts as a temporary shelter for women or minor girls who have left their homes after dispute with family, normally over marriages of their own choice. They stay at the home till the matter is settled legally.
Home to become Usha Kiran Centre
During her visit, the minister announced that the government home would be converted into an Usha Kiran Centre so that the inmates could get additional benefits like free legal aid, medical help and counselling.
They would also be provided vocational training to help them become self-employed.
Singh interacted with the inmates and directed the authorities that requests should be put up with the courts to allow such women inmates, who are now over 18 years and who got married by own choice when they were minor, to allow them to go with their husbands.
Asst directors issued show cause notices
The minister has transferred warden Ashalata Shrivastava, clerk Rajendra Shrivas and peon Prafull. She also directed that a teacher Parvati Sharma, posted at the home, be suspended. Two supervisors Sunita Yadav and Shobha Nigam were also attached.
Singh directed that show cause notices be served to two assistant directors Anju Shrivastava and Preeti Rana, who did not take charge of the home despite being posted and rather proceeded on leave.