After reading reports about the alleged sexual abuse in Daryaganj’s Arya Orphanage, families have started approaching the Delhi Police with complaints.
The police on Sunday filed another FIR in the case, in which a 12-year-old boy inmate was sodomised. His medical examination, conducted on Saturday, confirmed sodomy. Police officials said the victim’s mother was aware of the incident, but could not gather the courage to file an official complaint.
“It was only after reading media reports that the victim's mother approached us. Her son, who lived in the orphanage, had complained of being sexually abused during our visit, but we needed an official complaint to register an FIR. Finally, a case of sodomy was registered on Sunday," said a senior police officer, requesting not to be named.
On Saturday, HT had highlighted cases of alleged serial sexual abuse that children suffered at Arya Orphanage.
A report by NGO Haq: Centre for Child Rights, compiled on the basis of interviews and interaction with children living in the orphanage, gave shocking stories of alleged sexual and physical abuse in the facility.
The NGO started the investigation on behalf of the Delhi Police after an 11-year-old girl inmate died after allegedly being physically and sexually abused for over six months. A 14-year-old boy, who lived in the orphanage, was apprehended for raping her.
"The 12-year-old boy, whose complaint was registered on Sunday, has also been sodomised by the same boy. He said this during counselling," said a police officer.
"This 14-year-old had been sexually assaulting other younger boys and girls too. So far, he has confessed to sodomising five boys," added the official. The victim has been shifted to another shelter home and his custody has been handed over to his mother.
Police said when they had visited Arya Orphanage to carry out an investigation into the death of the 11-year-old girl, they heard about many cases of abuse. "But we can only investigate cases in which either the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or child's parents are complainants," said an officer.
"Although children have shared their trauma with us, the government needs to file an official complaint if it wants an FIR to be filed in each case. In this case, the boy's parents have come forward and we lodged an FIR after his medical examination was carried out," the officer added.
Police are now trying to contact the parents of children who had approached them during their visit to convince them register an official complaint.