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Dwarka shelter home row: 4 Women staffer including welfare officer held for sexual abuse

Police said the arrested women include a welfare officer, home in-charge, and two house-mothers of the shelter that is run by an NGO in Dwarka and has 22 inmates.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2018 15:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
dwarka shelter home,shelter home case,chilli powder in private parts
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal(HT File)

Four women employees of a southwest Delhi shelter for girls were arrested on Saturday, a day after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) said they found cases of sexual abuse and unhygienic conditions there during a surprise inspection.

Police said the arrested women include a welfare officer, home in-charge, and two house-mothers of the shelter that is run by an NGO in Dwarka and has 22 inmates.

They were arrested from the shelter itself, following the statements of three girls that were recorded before a city magistrate under section 164 of CrPC. The girls had reiterated allegations that they were being subjected to sexual abuse and kept in unhygienic conditions.

The DCW on Friday had said that employees “punished” the girls by applying chilli powder to their private parts.

Police registered an FIR under sections of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Juvenile Justice Act and are probing the allegations. The medical examination of the three girls were also conducted and the reports are awaited.

Deputy commissioner of police (Dwarka) Anto Alphonse said, “We have arrested four women staffers of the shelter home and are probing their roles. Their employers will also be examined.”

DCW chief Swati Maliwal on Saturday said she has requested the Child Welfare Committee not to relocate the 22 girls to another home.

“The 22 girls here have a bonding. They need to be together, but at the same time, strictest action needs to be taken against the NGO running this home. The NGO and the management running this home need to be shunted out and new people brought in so that the place is run properly,” said Maliwal.

She alleged that during her “surprise visit” to the particular home in Dwarka, she learnt that two of the girls, aged around six years old, had been “punished and scared” by inserting chilli powder in their private organs.

The DCW chief also tweeted, “Also request Centre to ensure inspection of all shelter homes across the country by sensitive officers at war footing. When abuse can be prevalent in shelter home in Delhi, one can imagine what must be going on in the entire country.”

On Friday, the DCW said the commission’s expert committee conducted a surprise visit at the home that houses 22 inmates on Thursday night. According to the statement, the expert committee found during the visit that the inmates were allegedly forced to do household chores and abused by the staff.

“The older girls in the group said they were would be forced to do all chores such as cooking and cleaning toilets since the home did not have sufficient domestic staff. They were also asked to take care of the younger girls,” the DCW said.

The committee members said there was only one cook in the shelter, adding they got complaints related to the quality of food. The home has girls between the ages of six and 15 .

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 10:03 IST