October 24, 2020

Four inmates escape from shelter home

Patna: Another short stay home for women located in Gopalganj district came under the scanner of the police following the escape of four girl inmates on Friday night.

This is the second incident of escape in the district close to the Uttar Pradesh border in the past three months. Earlier, two minor girls living in the short stay home had fled but the district authorities suppressed the matter for reasons best known to them.

Gopalganj district programme officer (DPO) Parmanand Sah on Saturday ordered a detailed investigation into the escape of four minor girls from the shelter home being run by an NGO – I Cards. Three of the four girls were stated to be from Bengal’s Siliguri (around 557km north of Calcutta).

The station house officer (SHO) of Gopalganj town police station, Raviranjan, said the girls in the age group of 20 and 30 years escaped around 2.35am after scaling the boundary wall of the building in which the shelter home was running.

Three of the girls – Sonia, Anushka and Manisha Thapa – were working in an orchestra and the fourth girl identified as Rani Kumari was detained in connection with a case lodged with the women’s police station. Rani is stated to be a resident of Manjha police station area in Gopalganj district.

The SHO said a station diary has been lodged and raids were underway to trace the girls. The manager of the NGO, which runs the shelter home, Nagendra Singh, said the role of the women employees deputed at the shelter home was being verified.

“Action will be taken against employees if their involvement in the escape of the girl inmates comes to light. A detailed investigation into the incident is on,” he said, adding that the CCTV footage has been handed over to the local police.

The CCTV installed at the facility showed the girls scaling the boundary wall after breaking open the locks of the gate. Earlier, district programme officer of Siwan Prem Prakash visited the shelter home and inquired about the incident.

The escape of the girls assumes significance in the wake of the alleged sexual exploitation of girls living in the short stay home for women in Muzaffarpur. Total 44 girls living at the short stay home located on Sahu Road in Muzaffarpur district were shifted to Patna and Madhubani. Most of the girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by the functionaries of the NGO and the officials of the child protection unit. Nine persons, including the proprietor of the NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, Brajesh Thakur, were arrested in the case.

The matter has already been taken up by the women and child development ministry. The ministry tweeted: “Acting promptly on a complaint received from a citizen about sex racket in a shelter home for girls in Muzaffarpur, we got it inspected by the Bihar State Commission for Protection of Child Rights”.

The ministry also urged people to be vigilant and flag any such suspicious activity. It has also directed all the district magistrates of the state to undertake surprise visits of shelter homes.

Recently, the national commissioner for women member Sushma Sahu visited the shelter home.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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