Minor children shifted to another shelter home after sexual assault complaints

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Ranchi, Jun 11 (PTI) Minor children of a state registered shelter home, run by an NGO at East Singhbhum district, were shifted to another place late Friday evening by the administration,while the probe is on into the allegations of sexual assault and torture of underage girls there, an official said.

The children have been moved to Bal Kalyan Aashram, Gobarghausi in Jamshedpur, District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) Satya Thakur told PTI.

The probe comes in the wake of a first information report lodged on complaints by two minor tribal girls from the shelter home alleging that they were being sexually assaulted and tortured for nearly four years at Mother Teresa Welfare Trust (MTWT).

'We have shifted the children to Bal Kalyan Aashram Gobarghausi late this evening from the shelter home', Thakur said.

The DSWO had Thursday said 40 children in the government registered MTWT, including 24 girls and 16 boys, all of whom are below 18 years barring a girl and a boy each of 20 years, will be shifted to Bal Kalyan home.

Asked how the shelter home was registered in the name of MTWT, Thakur said a probe is on to look into all the aspects.

MTWT is said to have no links with the Sisters of Charity, founded by Saint Teresa, known as Mother Teresa prior to her canonisation.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), East Singhbhum, Dr M Tamil Vanan said investigation is on in the case but so far no arrests could be made.

He said the medical examination report of the girls is also awaited.

An FIR was lodged under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code against the Director of MTWT, Harpal Singh Thapar, his wife Pushpa Rani Tirkey, Warden Gita Singh, her son Aditya Singh and one more person on June 6.

The case was registered against them on the complaint of two minors that they were being sexually assaulted and psychologically tortured for a long time.

Tirkey, wife of Director, MTWT, is also chairperson of the East Singhbhum district child welfare committee (CWC).

Both the minor girls, aged about 17 years, have levelled serious allegations of abuse and investigations are on as to how many children were abused, the SSP had said Thursday.

The incident came to light after the Shelter Home In-charge had lodged a missing FIR about both the tribal girls with Telco Police Station on June 5, the SSP added.

Both the girls were traced by lady police officers from the Telco station but were not willing to return to the Shelter home and related harrowing tales of torture and abuse which was brought to the attention of senior police officials, he had said.

Mother Teresa Welfare Trust was being run for the last 10 years at Kharangajhar, an official said.

Deputy Commissioner, East Singhbhum had said that an 11- member inquiry team is probing the matter.

A Delhi Court had last year convicted 19 persons, including main accused Brajesh Thakur, in connection with sexual and physical assault of girls at a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. PTI NAM SNS SNS