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Yet another case of sexual abuse emerges at Balgram

A female inmate staying at Balgram SOS Children’s Village in Yerawada has been sexually assaulted by a 14-year-old boy. However, the district women and child development department is just sitting on the explanation sent by the institute after a show-cause notice was issued, asking why the establishment should not be closed down, following the death of a six-year-old girl, allegedly due to negligence.


Balgram SOS Children’s Village. File Pic

In the present episode, which occurred on November 26, an eight-year-old girl was taken aside by a 14-year-old boy on the pretext of putting covers on her books. Both remained inside a room for about an hour. When a housemother noticed the change in behaviour of the girl, she asked another housemother to enquire.

It was then that the girl narrated what had happened to her. Manik Bhosale, the officiating village director, informed child welfare committee members. Following this, an FIR was lodged. MiD DAY had first reported about a 14-year-old attempting to rape a six-year-old girl in February. 

An FIR regarding this incident was registered in October, as a result of utter inattention on part of Balgram employees, who showed no urgency in reporting this matter to the child welfare committee. In the month of August, six-year-old Kalyani Gite mysteriously died, a day before deposing in the case of her mother’s murder.

In both the incidents, Balgram officials funded the bail application of their workers against whom FIRs were registered. Earlier this month, authorities at Balgram had claimed in a press conference that a few past students were maligning the institute. Speaking about the failure to comply with the government resolution last year that asked for splitting up of male and female inmates, the officials said they were in the process of complying.

Cop speaks
Speaking to MiD DAY, police inspector Kishor Jadhav said a case has been registered against the 14-year-old boy under section 354 of IPC and sections 3(c), 4, 21 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

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