PATNA: An audit report of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, Mumbai) mentioning that minor girls at government children home located at Sahu Road under Town police station area in Muzaffarpur were subjected to physical violence and sexual abuse, had brought the official of social welfare department on their toes.
The matter surfaced on Saturday after police crackdown began following an FIR which was lodged with the Women’s police station in Muzaffarpur on May 31 by district child protection unit assistant director Dibesh Kumar Sharma.
The TISS, in its report wrote: “The girl’s children home in Muzaffarpur run by Seva Sankalp ewan Vikash Samiti was both found by us to be running in a highly questionable manner along with grave instances of violence that was reported by the residents. Several girls reported about violence and being abused sexually. This is very serious and needs to be further investigated promptly. Immediate legal procedure must be followed to enquire into the charges and corrective measures be taken.”
The content was quoted in a letter sent to the department by Sharma, whose copy is with TOI.
Sharma had lodged the FIR against Seva Sankalp ewanVikash Samiti, an NGO with which the state government had entered into a contract for running the children home for seven years.
Sharma, while talking to TOI over phone, said the agreement was signed in October 2013 with the social welfare department. He said the audit was conducted across Bihar from January to March this year.
“46 girls including 14 of special category who require special attention for performing daily chores were at the home, were shifted to other districts in Bihar in last two days,” he said adding girl above six year and below 18 years are kept in such homes.
He said TISS’s audit report was sent to him by the department on May 26.
“As the following day was Sunday, I wrote a letter to department for action on May 28. Next day, the department gave nod to intiate action after which a written complaint was submitted with the Women’s police station on May 30 along with shifting all the minor girl amid police protection,” he said.
Muzaffarpur SSP Harpreet Kaur reached the children home on Saturday evening and conducted investigation.
Kaur told TOI over phone said two separate teams consisting of female police officers and counsellors were on Saturday were sent to places where girls of the children home were shifted.
“The teams would record statements. The matter is serous. NGO proprietor Brajesh Thakur and some other office bearers were quizzed on Saturday. Action would be taken as soon evidence surface in the case,” she added.