Three arrested for ‘sexually harassing’ six girls at Himachal child protection home
A 16-year-old girl complained to the home in charge, Juma Khan, on Monday about being sexually harassed by a clerk, cook, and sweeper. Later, five other girls also approached Khan accusing the same staff of harassing them.india Updated: Sep 27, 2017 23:26 IST
Three employees of a child protection home in a remote area of Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh were arrested after six girls living at the facility accused them of sexually harassment, police said on Wednesday.
The child protection home in Chilli in Tissa, over 100km from district headquarters Chamba, is run by the Himachal Pradesh Council for Child Welfare. There are 34 girls in the shelter home managed by seven staff members including two women.
A 16-year-old girl complained to the home in charge, Juma Khan, on Monday about being sexually harassed by a clerk, cook, and sweeper. Later, five other girls also approached Khan accusing the same staff of harassing them.
Khan reported the matter to Chamba deputy commissioner, who in turn informed the police.
The police have registered a case and took the girls for a medical examination.
Superintendent of police (SP) Virender Tomar said the accused have been arrested and booked under section 354 A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code and section 12 (punishment for sexual harassment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
The director of women and child development department, Manasi Sahay Thakur, said all the three men allegedly involved in this crime will be suspended. “If something substantial is found, they will be terminated,” she said.
Thakur added the Chamba district child protection officer has been asked to shift the girls to another home. The girls were not willing to shift but later agreed and were taken to Chamba.
Some staff at the child protection home, however, have questioned the role of the police, saying they did not cooperate with them in the case.
“Police visited child protection home in uniform,” an official said requesting anonymity.
SP Tomar denied their allegations and said a timely action was taken after registering the complaint.
Some of the staff also suggested all the girls lodged in the child protection home should be examined medically.
“Only six girls have alleged the sexual harassment. But it does not mean, only those are the victim. The number could be more,” officer, who did not wish to be named, said.
Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan of the Himachal Pradesh high court, who was on a routine visit to Chamba, on Wednesday met the six girls at the district headquarters.