September 28, 2020

Bihar official arrested for sexually harassing shelter home inmates

Police in Bihar’s Vaishali on Tuesday arrested district administration official Manmohan Prasad on charges of sexually harassing inmates of a shelter home in Hajipur.

This is third shelter home for women in Bihar where accusations of sexual harassment have been established and action initiated after an audit report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) submitted to the state government revealed physical and sexual abuse of inmates at 14 shelter homes.

Acting on the allegations by the inmates that Prasad, a district programme manager and in charge of inspecting the shelter home, often sexually harassed them, Vaishali district magistrate Rajiv Raushan had last week set up a five-member team of officials headed by sub-divisional magistrate Sandeep Priyadarshani to conduct an inquiry.

In its 50 page report submitted on the weekend, the committee said they found much of the accusations against the official to be true. “Preliminary inquiry has confirmed charges against the DPM to be true,” Vaishali’s superintendent of police MS Dhillon said.

Subsequently on Monday, a case was filed against Prasad, who was picked up by police, detained overnight for questioning and was formally arrested Tuesday morning.

Hajipur Town station house officer Om Prakash said the case was filed under different sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Prasad sent to jail .

The matter came to light after the home inmates, taking exception to Prasad recently recommending their shifting to Samastipur, informed senior officials about his activities.

The girls alleged that Prasad often visited the shelter home for inspection and misbehaved with them. One of them told police that he would enter a girl’s room and ask them to press his feet. If they protested, he would bully them.

An inmate said that he had once torn the clothes of a girl, who resisted his advancements.

Senior authorities then had a medical test of all the inmates conducted, but its report is yet to be made public.

The inmates had also alleged that Prasad used to organise parties at the shelter home with his friends.

However, Prasad, while being sent to jail, told a section of media that allegations against him were totally false.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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