A week after Balgram SOS Children’s Village authorities refuted sexual assault allegations of a 6-year-old girl by another minor inmate at their shelter home in Yerawada, the police, yesterday, registered an offence against the boy. Yerawada police have booked the under aged boy for outraging the modesty of the girl. The police have slapped a case under section 354 (a) of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 3(c) and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act against the minor boy.
Cops have also filed a case against the caretaker for failing to inform the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) members, and for not sending the girl for a medical test after the incident. The case has been registered under section 21 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The incident had allegedly taken place at one of the homes within the Balgram premises on February 4. Police Inspector Kishor Jadhav, from Yerawada police station, said, “The investigation is ongoing and after verifying the information, those involved will be arrested.”
MiD Day had reported about the incident (‘Sexual assault of six-year old falls on deaf ears, October 23). And the following day, secretary of the institute, Ranjan Puranik, denying that the incident had occurred, wrote a letter to MiD DAY stating that the assault was avoided, thanks to the timely intervention of the caretaker. Anita Vipat, CWC member, who conducted an enquiry into this incident, said, “The medical test of the victim will reveal the nature of the offence and Balgram authorities should have informed us soon after the incident took place.”
MiD DAY had learnt of the assault on the basis of the inquiry report prepared by the CWC member, which states that the minor girl confessed to the enquiry committee members that the said boy had tried to make physical contact with her many times in the past. Vipat added that all the homes in the state have been asked to maintain separate lodging facility for girls and boys. “Several homes, including this one, have not complied to the orders issued by Women Child Welfare Department,” Vipat said.