Confusion between the city police and the management of the government-run shelter home at Mankhurd over providing security may have facilitated the escape of 22 inmates on Saturday.
According to the shelter home officials, they had asked the local police for security following the escape of 17 women on September 9. The police, however, turned down their demand stating that they are not duty-bound to provide security to shelter homes.
Confirming that the management had written to them, Lakhmi Gautam, deputy commissioner of police, zone 6, said: “After the escape of 17 women, the shelter authorities wanted the security cover to be increased. But, we did not act on their request, as it is against the law to have uniformed personnel inside a shelter home.”
“We also asked them to either show us a circular, get a court order or a government order instructing us to do so,” added Gautam.
Anand Khandagle, district women and child development officer, agreed, “A shelter home, unlike a jail, does not have policemen guarding it. While jail inmates are accused, shelter homes house victims. Shelter homes are guarded by caretakers.”
Explaining the reason behind their demand for police personnel, Khandagle said, “Till 2005, the police guarded the shelter home. So, after the September incident, we asked for additional manpower to support the caretakers.”