On Saturday, the Delhi Police arrested one of the guards of the Arya Orphanage for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl of the orphanage who later died on December 24.
The girl’s post-mortem report had revealed that she had been raped and sexually assaulted. A 14-year-old boy, a resident of the orphanage, has already been apprehended in the case.
Two more staffers of the orphanage have been held for physically assaulting residents of the orphanage. “Three staff members of the orphanage were arrested on Saturday. The guard, Navrattan, was arrested under sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural sex) of Indian Penal Code,” said Devesh Srivastava, additional CP (central).
Navrattan has been working with the orphanage since 1996 and used to live in a servant quarter at Barakhamba. The other two have been identified as Ramesh Maurya, the orphanage’s chief warden, and Surendra Chauhan, the warden. Both have been held under section 23 of the Juvenile Act.
The arrests prove that the children used to be sexually and physically abused by some orphanage staffers.
It was the testimony of a 10-year-old girl that proved crucial in cracking the case. The child had seen Navrattan dragging the 11-year-old victim to the toilet. "Her statement was recorded on Saturday in front of the magistrate after which Navrattan was arrested," a senior police officer said.
"Maurya and Chauhan were arrested for neglecting the complaint made by the mother of a 12-year-old boy who had been sodomised in the premises of the Arya orphanage," Srivastava said. Sources said the warden was also arrested for physically assaulting children. The police say they are ready to take action against other staff members if they receive complaints.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s minister for women and child welfare Kiran Walia demanded strict punishment for those arrested. “This would act as a deterrent. Our counsellors are working throughout the day with the children and we will try to get more information from them,” Walia said.