Four persons, including the founder director of a private run orphanage home, have been arrested in connection with the rape of five mentally challenged female inmates there, three of them minors, police said on Saturday.
The orphanage at Kalamboli area in Navi Mumbai is run by a private organisation, Kalyani Mahila Bal Seva Sanstha.
"The organisation's founder Ramchandra Karanjule, his wife Surekha (director of the sanstha), Ramchandra's daughter Kalyani (president of the sanstha) and caretaker Sonali Badte were arrested last night," Navi Mumbai deputy police commissioner Ankush Shinde told PTI.
All four were produced before a local court which remanded them in police custody till March 15, the DCP added.
They were booked under IPC Sections 376 (rape), 109 (punishment for abetment in an offence) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed).
The incident came to light during a recent inspection of the orphanage by members of the state government appointed Child Welfare Committee (CWC), following receipt of complaints against the organisation, police said.
Nineteen mentally challenged female inmates were sent for a medical examination and it was found that five of them, including three minors, had been raped, police said.
Raigad district CWC Chairperson Neela Tulpule had lodged a complaint with the police about the alleged sexual abuse, following which an FIR was registered, police said.