August 19, 2018

Hint of assault at Bihar shelter

Patna: The Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) administration has sent the medical reports of 29 girls who were allegedly sexually exploited at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur to the district police with sources saying the residents had external injury marks that suggested resistance on their part.

The PMCH had carried out a medical test on 41 girls following allegations of sexual assault at the Balika Grih run by an NGO on the recommendation of Muzaffarpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harpreet Kaur last month.

PMCH superintendent Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said on Thursday: “The medical reports of the girls who were brought here for examination have been provided to the Muzaffarpur police. They will be submitted to the court concerned by the investigating officer of the case.” He, however, refused to share the findings of the medical test. Though 41 girls were medically examined in Patna, the police sought special opinion on 29 of them.

A PMCH source said: “The girls were sexually active. There were old scars on their private parts which suggested they had offered resistance.”

The medical board, comprising doctors of PMCH, had also found external injury marks on a few girls. The scars, the experts said, were indicative of having been caused by hard blunt objects or heated metal.

Muzaffarpur SSP Harpreet Kaur told The Telegraph that the medical reports had been received and would be submitted to the court concerned. The investigating officer of the case, Jyoti Kumari, had been directed to collect the reports from PMCH, she added.

The SSP said the chargesheet against the 10 persons arrested in the case would also be submitted at the earliest. “We were waiting for the medical reports,” Harpreet, who is monitoring the case, said.

The police have obtained a warrant of arrest against the district child welfare committee chairman Dilip Kumar Verma. The bail plea of Verma, stated to be a resident of Sitamarhi, has been rejected by the court.

The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls living at the Sahu Road Balika Grih run by an NGO, Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, came to the fore during a social audit conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) earlier this year.

An FIR was lodged with the Muzaffarpur women’s police station on the statement of district welfare unit assistant director Devesh Kumar Sharma on May 31. The case was lodged against the NGO and others under sections 376, 120 B of the IPC and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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