Father of 2 convicted of sexually exploiting Bal Niketan inmates

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 10, 2015 10:20 IST

A 50-year-old supervisor of Bal Niketan, Sector 15, was on Friday convicted of sexually exploiting minor girls staying in the home for the destitute.

Dismissing all pleas of being false implicated, additional district and sessions judge Anshu Shukla on Friday pronounced the dismissed supervisor, Manish Arora, father of two girls, guilty. The quantum of sentence would be pronounced on January 12.

UT police on April 23, 2014, had arrested Arora on charges of sexually exploiting minor girls staying in the destitute home. He was booked under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to outrage modesty of woman) and 354-A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Arora breaks down

Arora, who was on bail, broke down as the court pronounced him guilty and ordered to take him custody. “I have not done anything wrong. I am paying for performing my duty. This is no justice,” cried Arora.

Arora was attached with Bal Niketan for the past two years before his arrest. His wife Nisha had been an inmate at the shelter home for several years. He had been given a residential complex within the boundary walls of Bal Niketan. Nisha is also working with an institute, which is being run by the UT social welfare department.

Committee had indicted Arora

After the complaint to the child helpline, UT social welfare department had set up a four-member committee to inquire into the complaint and had held that Arora had molested seven girls for months.

The report had claimed that Arora used to molest girls aged between 8 and 18 by frequently touching their private parts and the victims had told attendant Manjit Kaur about the ‘misbehaviour’ of the supervisor. Besides Kaur, attendant Meena Sharma has also been indicted in the report for not reporting the incidents.

Though informed about the incident by Kaur, Meena took no action in the matter.

Victim’s testimony nailed Arora

Having been molested for nearly two years by Arora, a Class 10 student, in her statement before the court, had said the supervisor had been harassing her by ‘hugging’ and touching her inappropriately.

Determined to get her tormentor punished, the victim not only identified the accused but also relived the entire horror. The victim had told the court that she was an orphan and after being molested for two years decided to put an end to harassment after the accused tried to lift her shirt. It was her maternal aunt, who is her guardian, whom she first informed about the harassment. The victim revealed that her aunt gave her the courage to raise her voice, following which she called the child helpline on April 2 and a case of sexual harassment was registered against Arora. Besides her, Arora was accused of molesting seven inmates.

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