NEW DELHI: The superintendent of a Delhi-government-run-children’s home in Lajpat Nagar was arrested after six minor girls at the hostel accused him of sexually assaulting them and filming the act last week.
Police said six more girls at the hostel — which houses children rescued from trafficking and child labour rackets — have levelled similar charges and their statements would be recorded soon.
Police said 45-year-old RS Meena was sacked with immediate effect and booked under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and for rape under lawful custody. A woman welfare officer who was in charge of the children at the time was also dismissed.
The incident reportedly took place on June 2 when the caretaker of the home stepped out for some official work and left the children— all under 10 years old—in the care of Meena and the welfare officer.
According to the FIR, Me en at old the officer to take charge of the boys —who are housed separately—and said he would monitor the girls. He reportedly took the girls to a separate room. He then took them one by one to another room, locked it from the inside and assaulted them. When the girls cried in pain and tried to get away, he told them he was conducting a ‘check-up’ and allegedly gagged them. The girls said he also filmed the act. Shortly after, he left for the day.
The crime came to light when the caretaker returned two hours later and the girls detailed the incident to her. She reported the matter to the government’s social welfare department which in turn informed the Child Welfare Committee. The CWC approached the police and an FIR was registered leading to Meena’s arrest on Tuesday night.
“The facts of the complaint were verified and the superintendent was arrested. Three girls recorded their statements before the magistrate on Wednesday and three others will do so on Thursday. A medical examination was also conducted and the girl’s will undergo counselling sessions,” a senior police officer said. Six other girls will record their statements soon, police said.
In a statement, the Delhi government said, “Women and Child Welfare Minister Sandeep Kumar on Friday ordered the termination of two officials with immediate effect, who were working at the Lajpat Nagar Village Cottage Home for children, and also ordered registration of an FIR against the Superintendent of the Home. The stern action followed the minister’s inspection of the Home, since he had received information that some girl children had complained about the Home Superintendent having misbehaved with them.”