The Shivpuri district court on Friday sent Shaila Agrawal, owner of a children’s shelter home where at least 12 girl inmates accused her father of sexual assault and molestation, to jail till November 30.
Her father KN Agrawal, a 75-year-old retired commerce professor, is absconding.
Police produced Shaila, a lawyer, after arresting her on Thursday. She and KN Agrawal were booked after the girls lodged a complaint of sexual assault and molestation.
Police added Raju Agrawal, 35, an allegedly mentally disabled son of KN Agrawal, in the FIR, following complaints of nudity in front of the girl inmates. Raju is also at large.
Police town inspector and women’s cell in-charge Aradhana Davis said medical examination reports of six minor complainants confirmed sexual assault. The victims’ statements were recorded in the court.
Police raided the home on Thursday night, and recovered whisky bottles and some medicines (without label) from KN Agrawal’s room.
The hostel was being run in a family-owned two-storey house at Patel Nagar through an NGO, Shakuntala Parmartha Samiti.
The victims complained of sexual assault during a counselling by women and child development department officials.
A team, comprising regional coordinator Suresh Tomar, rushed to Shivpuri from Gwalior on Wednesday.
After corroborating facts, officials submitted a report to the district collector for action, following which the FIR was registered.
“Women and child development (WCD) regional coordinator Suresh Tomar said the 23 girls at the shelter home in Shivpuri will be temporarily shifted to a girls shelter home in Ujjain.
“The inmates are staying in another hostel of tribal welfare department in Shivpuri,” Davis said.
Social activist and writer Zahid Khan said, “Shaila Agrawal used to participate in literary activities, and also won prizes in literature at the local level.”
Suresh Tomar said, “Considering their reputation, the police and administration took all measures, including corroborating facts and going for medical examination, before booking them and arresting Shaila.”
Yashwant Jain, a Shivpuri resident, said the reputation of the Agrawal family has been dented by the scandal.
KN Agrawal’s wife Shakuntala died in 2000. His elder son Brijesh lives separately and runs a school in Karera sub-division, 60 km from the Shivpuri district headquarters.
Chitnis seeks report on shelter homes
Woman and child development minister Archna Chitnis directed officials to inspect all shelter homes in the state and submit a report on the living condition of children within a month.
Joint directors posted in regional women’s resource centres, district women empowerment officers and counsellors will inspect shelter homes.
Measures shall be taken to ensure that the child is not subjected to any harm, abuse or maltreatment while in contact with the care and protection system.
A child shall be presumed to be innocent of any mala fide or criminal intent up to 18 years age.
Adversarial or accusatory words are not to be used before a child.
Every child shall have a right to protection of his privacy, confidentiality.