A 14-year-old boy has claimed to have been sodomised by fellow inmates at the government-run Sanskar Ashram in east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden.
The boy was allegedly abused by the same, older inmates nearly two years ago and the Ashram’s staff did not take coganizance when he reported it to them.
According to officials, the victim was last abused and threatened on December 1. “It is then that he decided to walk into the office of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and report the matter. An FIR under section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under section of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) has been registered at the GTB enclave police station but no action has been taken so far,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Soon after the matter came to light, the CWC conducted an enquiry and engaged an NGO, asking them to interact with other boys to know if they were also being abused by the older inmates.
“We have requested Shakti Vahini, an NGO, to investigate the matter as there is a possibility that other children have also faced abused but are not reporting the matter as they fear threats to their life. The boy had walked into our office on December 11 and we immediately asked the police to file an FIR,” said Ajay K Singh, chairperson of the CWC’s east divison in Delhi.
As per the initial enquiry conducted by the CWC, the child has been facing sexual assault for a long time in the institution.
When the boy had first reported the incident to the staff, two years ago, the four alleged assailants were shifted out of the ashram as a punishment.
“It is probably the first time that such cases of sexual abuse in children’s homes have come to the knowledge of the CWC. We have learnt that such abuse has been going on in the institution, and the staff had knowledge about it, and still didn’t report the matter. It is suspected that some younger children might have been victims of sexual abuse by the older children. There is a need to take immediate steps to prevent such things,” said Singh.
While the police is still investigating and staff of the home likely to be arrested, the NGO will submit its report by the first week of January.