A 27-year-old man was detained on Thursday for allegedly sexually abusing minor girls at a children’s home in Raigad district’s Rasayani. The accused is the son of an employee who works at the home.
The police said the home has been run by a private trust for the past decade and houses 20 children from across the state.
That the minor girls were being sexually abused at the ashram came to light after members of the child welfare committee (CWC) visited the home recently.
“Some of the members saw that four of the girls had injury marks on their bodies. They suspected the injuries were from sexual abuse and told us about it,” said BP Kallurkar, deputy SP of the Khalapur division. “After investigating, we registered a case under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012,” he said.
There were injury marks on seven other girls, but it was not clear how they were assaulted.
The police said they initially registered a case against an unidentified person, as the girls were scared to give them information. “One girl later spoke to our woman officer. Based on her statements, we have detained the 27-year-old,” said Suvez Haque, superintendent of police, Raigad district.
Another officer said they will decide how to act against the accused after speaking to all the children at the home. “So far, we have only one girl’s statement. There are no CCTV cameras installed anywhere in the premises,” the officer said.
While the police also had the medical reports of one of the girls, they did not reveal anything at the time of going to press.
Sources from the Rasayani police told Hindustan Times the trust running the home did not have the necessary permission. The trust was served a notice last year by the child welfare department of Raigad district.