The caretaker of a girls’ orphanage in Nerul has been booked on charges of raping three girls in the orphanage.
Satish Pagi, 45 and his wife, Anita, 40, caretakers of Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission, in sector 23, Nerul, were arrested earlier this month by the Nerul police, for allegedly harassing 12 girls at the orphanage.
The girls, aged between five and 12 years, had also alleged that some of them had been sexually abused by Satish.
During investigation, the police learnt that seven girls had been shifted in May to the Pune branch of the mission, for higher studies.
“Suspecting that those girls too could have been harassed, we spoke to them. They told us that three of them had been repeatedly raped by Pagi,” said Rajkumar Chaphekar, senior inspector, Nerul police station.
The three girls were sent for a medical examination on Tuesday. While Chaphekar said that the final report was awaited, sources claimed that rape had been confirmed.
The police have sent all the girls to a children’s home and the accused have been booked under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
This case came to light after eight girls fled from the orphanage on the night of August 31. A constable at the Nerul railway station spotted them.
The girls told the constable that they were regularly beaten up and harassed at the orphanage. The girls said that Anita would ask them to clean the bathroom and if they refused, they were thrashed.
“At the time, we learnt that some of the girls at the orphanage had been molested by the accused,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Purushottam Karad.