Raipur: HUMANITY was ashamed when a Divyang minor girl was raped and five others were sexually molested, beaten, and chased naked by two workers of a government-run residential training center meant for specially-abled children in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh. The training center called Samarth Divyang Kendra runs under Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission. Both the accused have been arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Taking a serious note of the issue, District Collector Mahadeo Kawre has ordered an inquiry.
According to police, the accused have been identified as watchman Narendra Ram Bhagat and caretaker Rajesh Ram Chauhan. Bhagat allegedly raped the girl and Narendra and Rajesh together molested the other girls. To be noted, Chauhan himself is specially-abled.
Two workers a caretaker and a watchman, in an inebriated state, raped a specially-abled minor girl and molested five other girls at the center, according to information.
The center Superintendent was not present during the time and therefore a cook was taking care of all the children along with a caretaker and a watchman. Both in a drunken state, first locked the cook inside the room and then started assaulting the girls.
They started chasing the girls during which some girls fell while some got their clothes torn. The girls were beaten, molested sexually and chased naked by the two. The matter came to the fore when a staffer of the center narrated the whole incident to a local journalist and police swung into action.
According to Additional SP Pratibha Pandey, the girls were in a state of shock and since they can’t speak or hear, it took some time to record their statements. A sign language expert was sent to the center and helped record the victim’s statement. Many girls have even sustained injuries where they were beaten and some of them even fell when they were chased by the accused. It took at least 1 to 1.5 hours to record the statement of one girl, she added.
If sources are to be believed then this residential training center has around 14-15 specially-abled children at the center that time and it is a clear negligence of the concerned authorities to leave children at the mercy of workers. It has also been reported that the staff at the center isn’t trained either to understand the sign language of the children.
ASP Pandey said that she had received a complaint and it is true that one specially-abled girl has been raped while five others have been molested. She said that two cases were lodged against both the accused. Narendra Ram Bhagat had raped the girl and has been charged under section 5, 6, 9 and 10 of POCSO Act and section 376 (2) (l) of IPC in one case and both have been charged under section 363, 354 A, 354 B, 354, 34 of IPC and section 8, 10 of POCSO Act in the second.
DEO Satyanarayan Panda said that he was in Raipur. He had joined the duty just four days back and he can say anything on the matter after collecting the information only.
Meanwhile, BJP State President Vishnudeo Sai on Saturday demanded a judicial probe into the case and supervision of the inquiry by experts. Sai demanded from Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel immediate inquiry into the case and stringent action against those involved in such heinous crime.
Sai blamed it 9on the negligence on part of state government for the incident. Absence of a female caretaker in the Center, Centre superintendent led to the heinous crime, Sai said. There was also no expert in the Divyang Center to understand the sign language of the children.