Paternity test for 13-yr-old rape suspect

After MiD DAY reported inaction of authorities in the case of 13-year-old who was raped and impregnated, officials from Women and Child Welfare Department say DNA of foetus would be crossmatched with teen boy suspected of raping victim to ascertain if he fathered child

AFTER MiD DAY pointed out last week that no action had been taken after the rape and impregnation of a 13-year-old girl at the Vidyavati Ashram in Kamshet surfaced, District Women And Child Welfare Officer Suvarna Pawar said yesterday that a non-cognizable offence would be registered against the trustees of the orphanage. 

All's not well: Authorities say medical tests will be conducted on all the
children in the orphanage to find out if anyone else was abused

Varsha Gaikwad, minister in Women And Child Welfare department, assured MiD DAY that the DNA of the fetus would be crossmatched with that of the 13-year-old boy who is suspected of raping the teen girl. This would confirm if the baby is fathered by the suspect or the girl's pregnancy was a result of abuse by some adult person.

Officials from the Women and Child Development Department (DWCD) announced the constitution of an inquiry committee comprising a gynaecologist, a child right activist, two members of an NGO and members from the Child Welfare Committee.

In the meantime, all children, including 19 boys and 26 girls, would be shifted to other children homes till the situation at the ashram is back to normal. "I have instructed all my officers that medical test be conducted on all children to affirm if they too were abused," said Gaikwad.

It has been noted that the Vidyavati Ashram in Kamshet is guilty of serious violation, as its licence had expired in 2010, said officials from the DWCD. An officer from the District Women and Child Welfare Department said the ashram had put up a file for renewal. More importantly, there were only two home mothers and one superintendent to take care of more than 50 children, including the 13-year-old rape victim.

United Nations Health Task Force Representative for South Asia Dr Yamini Adbe paid a visit to the orphanage and said the records were poorly maintained. The staff members told her that all children were aware that the 13-year-old resident had missed her periods. "This revelation by the staff members is enough to show that 50 children were exposed to disturbing environment," said Dr Adbe.

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