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Apna Ghar sexual abuse case: One victim was conferred national bravery award in 2013

Had claimed to have stolen Rs 500 from main accused Jaswanti Devi’s purse to flee from shelter home with two other girls.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2018 12:25 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Apna Ghar,Apna Ghar sexual abuse,house of horrors
The special CBI court on Thursday convicted 9 of the 10 accused, including Apna ghar owner Jaswanti Devi, and fixed April 24 for the sentence.(HT File )

One of the victims of sexual abuse at Rohtak’s Apna Ghar orphanage was conferred national bravery award in 2013. She was among those three girls who escaped from shelter home and contacted National Commission for Protection of Child rights (NCPCR) before they raided the premises and exposed the scandal on May 2012.

The special CBI court on Thursday convicted 9 of the 10 accused, including Apna ghar owner Jaswanti Devi, and fixed April 24 for the sentence.

Now married, the victim could not be contacted. However, former NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo, who played a vital role in raiding Apna Ghar and was in touch with her during this entire episode shared her exemplary feet.

Former NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo said the trial took six years to complete, which was too long a period for victims involved in this racket.

Recounting her story, Tikoo said that she was tired of facing sexual assault on herself and other girls in the shelter home.

One day, she stole Rs 500 from the purse of Apna Ghar owner Jaswanti Devi and fled to Delhi with two other inmates. She first contacted the Delhi child welfare committee (CWC) and then the matter reached the commission.

Tikoo said that she was aware about the existence of CWC in Delhi since she visited there in her tender age as an orphan. “Her brother too lived here with her in shelter home and she spoke to me about physical and sexual torture to him also,” he added. Tikoo said that it was her daring call to escape from there that exposed physical, psychological and sexual abuse of children at the centre.

He said she was conferred Geeta Chopra Award, considered among most prestigious national bravery awards.

‘Role of policemen not probed well’

Tikoo told HT that investigative agencies involved in the probe, be it CBI or the state police, did not probe involvement of policemen linked with the main accused. Tikoo said that when he along with others raided the premsies of Apna Ghar on the night of May 9 in 2012, a sub-inspector who was in-charge of area police station was sitting with Jaswanti Devi in her office. He had no business sitting there in orphanage. “I immediately asked Rohtak SP to mark inquiry against him but I was surprised that no policeman or none of those linked with Jaswanti Devi were made accused in this case,” he said

‘Justice delayed in justice denied’

Tikoo said the trial took six years to complete, which was too long a period for victims involved in this racket. “The cases in which children are victim should conclude in not more than six months so that they don’t undergo ordeal during legal process.”

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 12:25 IST