A 12-year-old girl staying at Janaseva Ashram in Porpund in Panvel was allegedly sexually abused on December 6 by a 55-year-old watchman of a construction site on an empty plot near the ashram.

The ashram management said suspect Khurshid Khan molested the minor promising to pay her Rs 5. Members of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) say despite repeated requests the police did not send the girl for a medical test. The ashram has blamed the girl's character. Khan was out on bail on Wednesday. 

The matter came to light after a caretaker informed ashram chief Gomati Raman about it. Raman said, "We run a reputable institute and the girl is at fault as she would go to the watchman whenever he called her to his cabin. I thrashed the watchman after he spoke ill of the girl and handed him over to the police after the girl's mother arrived."

 MiD DAY has learnt that the ashram pressured the girl's mother against filing a police case. Raman denied this. CWC member Smita Kale said the police were not interested in investigating the case. Kale said, "Considering the girl's age and the nature of the incident, we asked the police to send the girl for a medical test. When we went to the police station the police asked us to wait till 9 pm for the FIR." 

Assistant PI Bhoye, who refused to reveal his full name, said, "Khan was arrested and released on bail, as molestation is a bailable offence."  Bhoye added that in the case of molestation medical test is performed only if the victim demands so. When Bhoye was reminded that CWC members had requested that the girl be sent for a medical, he said that he would do the needful.