Taking cognisance of media reports and complaints by an NGO, members of the MP women and child development committee have begun a fact-finding mission on the abuse of inmates at a state-run home for boys in Bhopal.
A five-member team of legislators on Friday visited the Residential Bridge Course (RBC), Bairagarh, where 20 boys between the ages 7 and 11 years were allegedly sexually and physically abused by warden Ajay Sharma. The committee, led by MLA Usha Thakur, inspected the premises of the RBC and questioned the principal of the RBC about the facilities provided.
Thakur also interacted with the mothers of victims, who shared their grievances and informed the committee about the abuses their children had suffered.
Talking to HT, Thakur said things had not been cleared yet but she was inquiring into the matter. “I talked with 17 students. They didn’t inform us about sexual abuse but a group of mothers met the committee and informed us about corporal punishment and sexual abuse their sons suffered,” she said. “The mothers also informed that the accused had made some offensive videos of children and I asked them to provide those videos and other evidences which can prove the allegations.”
However, child rights alliance representatives, who were present during the visit of the committee, alleged that education department was defending Sharma.
“On the complaint of students and NGO members, Sharma was booked by the Bairagarh police under Sections 323, 75 and 82 of IPC, but even after the FIR, the police have not arrested him. On Friday, when the committee members reached the RBC, Sharma was fearlessly roaming at the school premises and interacting with officers of the education department,” said Seema Kurup, a representative of Child Right Alliance.
“After the complaint, Sharma has become a threat for the students but instead of taking any action against him, education department officers are meeting with him cordially,” she said.
However, School education district project coordinator SS Rathore said, “We have expelled all the members of the staff, including Sharma. He was present in the school premises on Friday as he was called to register his statement before the WCD Committee.”