Inquiry panel dissolved

After complaint by human rights activist of threatening call from government official, 5-member inquiry committee disbanded; CWC member says filing of investigation report almost completed

A day after a member of the inquiry committee investigating the rape and impregnation of a 13-year-old girl in Vidyavati Ashram filed a case against District Women and Child Development Officer Suvarna Pawar for threatening her, the five-member panel was dissolved yesterday. 

Unlawful: A page grab of the ashram website that shows the pictures
of orphaned children. A CWC official said it was illegal to publish
pictures of these children and action would be taken against the

Pawar immediately called an emergency meeting at Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra in Yerawada to declare that the committee was dissolved. This decision was taken after MiD DAY reported that Dr Yamini Adbe, a human rights activist, lodged a police complaint against Pawar for threatening her and asking her to stop investigation.

Pawar told the media that Dr Adbe was just looking for some publicity. Pawar had even expressed a desire to lodge a defamation complaint against Dr Adbe. Anjali Vipat, member of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) who was part of the inquiry committee, said the committee was dissolved as its work was over.

"We have almost completed the work towards filing a report. The rest of it is administrative work," said Vipat. "We can not go forward on this case till the medical evidence is made available to us. If it were not for the negligence on the part of Rajendra Gupta, orphanage trustee, these things would not have happened."

Regarding the 14 missing children from Vidyavati Ashram, Vipat said, "The orphanage owner told us they had been handed over to their guardians. Of the 14, only four kids were produced before CWC, before they were handed over to their guardians. The orphanage owners have provided us the addresses of the remaining 10 children and assured us they will be produced before the CWC."

Vipat told MiD DAY the CWC had received many calls regarding the photos of the children which were published on the ashram's website. "It is illegal under section 21 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2006 and action will be taken," she said.

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