Two more women of Bhopal hostel accuse director of molesting them

Police said the incident happened when the sisters stayed at Ashwini Sharma’s house-cum-hostel last year while they were pursuing a course at an institute in Bhopal.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2018 22:03 IST
Bhopal hostel rape,Bhopal,Madhya Pradesh rape
People hold placards as they participate in a protest against rape of women in India. (Reuters File Photo)

Two more hearing and speech-impaired tribal girls have filed a complaint against a city hostel director, who is currently under arrest in a rape case, for molesting them last year, police said on .

Ashwini Sharma, director of a hostel for hearing and speech-impaired women in Awadhpuri area in Bhopal, was arrested on Wednesday based on the complaint by an inmate who alleged that the accused had raped her repeatedly during her stay at the hostel over the past three years.

She had filed a complaint on Wednesday after which Sharma was arrested under sections 376 (rape), 354 (outraging modesty), 344 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Sharma was produced in court on Friday and was remanded in police custody for two days.

Two more girls filed a fresh case against the accused at the Hira Nagar police station in Ujjain district on Thursday, police said.

Hira Nagar Police Inspector Mahendra Singh Bhadoria said on Friday two Dhar-based sisters lodged a complaint that Sharma had molested them. The case was then transferred to the Awadhpuri police station, he added.

Bhadoria said the incident happened when the sisters stayed at Sharma’s house-cum-hostel last year while they were pursuing a course at an institute in Bhopal.

He added that since one of the complainants was a minor, when Sharma allegedly molested her in Bhopal in 2017, provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act were also invoked against the accused.

The Bhopal Police on Friday formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case while the state government announced that a monthly inspection would be carried out at women’s hostels in the state.

Inspector General of Police (Bhopal) Jaydeep Prasad told PTI that the SIT would comprise Rahul Lodha, Superintendent of Police, Bhopal City South, along with Additional SPs Rashmi Mishra and Dinesh Kaushal, City Superintendent of Police (CSP) Virendra Mishra and Awadhpuri Inspector ML Bhati.

Prasad said preliminary investigations had revealed that Sharma was a “lone wolf” in the case, adding that he had “personally inspected the hostel”.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan issued directions to his officials to take steps to ensure that such incidents did not occur again.

“I have held a meeting with officials and directed them to conduct monthly inspections of such (state) aided and unaided facilities where girls are residing,” he told reporters at his residence in this morning.

“The inspection will be carried out by the collector and the superintendent of police in each district on a monthly basis,” he said.

Calling such incidents painful, Chouhan said similar rules would also be framed for private hostels.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Friday shot off a letter to Chouhan seeking a probe into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 22:03 IST