Rss

  • stumble
  • youtube
  • linkedin

#India – A Case of Continous #SexualAbuse and #Rape in an Orphanage in Chattisgarh #Vaw #mustread

A case of registered and continued sexual assault on a and handicapped minor girl in a
children’s home – Chakradhar Bal Sadan in Raigarh, Chattisgarh, was brought to our notice and we
paid a visit to the Bal Kalyan Samiti to gather some preiliminary information about the case.
We met with both the girl and the president of the Bal Kalayan Samiti who filed the FIR on the
behalf of the girl. The FIR names the Secretaery of the Chakradhar Bal Sadan – Prahlad Aggarwal,
and Bunty Upadhyay who is son of the Warden. What also emerged was the fact that this is not a
single or isolated case, and that there has been continuous of many of the residents of
the facility. This indicates that several of the staff members may also be complicit in this.
What was also alarming was the fact, that though this case and many of the facts about rampant
abuse had emerged , even after almost 15 days, nothing had been done on an insitutionnal level by
the district administration to take action against the staff of Chakradhar Bal Sadan or provide safety
to the other residents of Chakradhar Bal Sadan.
Even the press, after initially reporting the FIR when it was filed, has not carried any news of this
serious matter of the possibility of continous abuse of the residents of an orphanage. The President
of the organisation is Krishnkumar Gupta who is an ex MLA and ex Minister of the Chattisgarh
government.
Given below is a brief report of the information that we gathered.
The details of the case –
The Complainant is a 16 year old disabled dalit girl, who is a resident of the Chakradhar Bal Sadan.
On 2/9/2013 an FIR was filed by Mrs Jessy Philip, the president of the Bal Kalyan Samiti, Raigarh,
in Chattisgarh on being informed by the 16 year old resident of the Chakradhar Bal Sadan, that she
had been repeatedly raped by the Secretary of the Organization Prahalad Aggarwal and by the son
of the warden Bunty Upadhyay, on separate occasions over a long period of time including recently
before reporting the complant. (The FIR is attached).
Both the accused are shown as absconding and no arrests have been made as yet.
On meeting with Mrs Jessy Philips we were informed that though the FIR had been filed and she
had a copy of theFIR, she had got to know through news paper reports that the FIR had been
subsequently altered by the police, citing thea technical flaw, that by mistake police had also added
the charge of gang rape, when it wasn’t gang rape but continuous rape by different people. On
speaking to the SP about why the FIR was being changed, she was informed that they were making
two different FIRs against the two accused, since they had committed the offense separately and on
different occassions. She has still not been given a copy of the altered FIR..
She said that after the FIR being filed , a medical examination was also conducted.tthough she has
not been given a copy of the medical report even on applying for the same under the RTI Act. The
complainant and Ms Jessy Philips have also deiposed before the Magistrate, but they have not been
given a copy of their statements.
This a matter of custodial rape and also a matter of a handicapped dalit girl being raped by
upper caste rapist and there fore this matter must also be seen as an offence under the SC/ST
Atrocities Act as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act Pocso act and as
an instance of Custodial rape. But the sections of SC/ ST Act have not been added in the FIR.
Ms Jessy Philips also informed us that the girl had now been removed by her froorm the
Chakradhar Bal Bhawan and placed at another residential facility . Since she was not safe in the
Bal Sadan. Till now no action has been taken against the present staff and office holders of the
organization. The Warden of the facility is herself the mother of one of the accused ( Bunty) and she
and the accused reside on the premises. Bunty’s father is the priest of the temple within the
premises.
Mrs Philip in a written complaint has asked for the removal of the staff of Bal Sadan and for the
institution of a high level inquiry for investigating sexual abuse and rape of the residents there.
While there is evidence that tThis case is not the only one and there are several other young girls
who are being subjected to such sexual harassment and rape, they are scared to speak out against the
rapist due to the fear of the staff , many of who may be complicit. But no action has been taken by
the district administration.
Mrs Philips has in a written complaint to the SP has also spoken about fear for the victims as well
as her own safety, as well as the pressures created by the accused and those supporting them to
suppress the case. Since all the accused are influential people there is a great fear of the accused
being protected and the matter being suppresesed.
There is pressure being exerted on the NGO where the girl has presently been lodged, prompting
them to ask for the girl being removed from there. There is a need to find a safe and secure place for
the girl.
On speaking to the Young Girl
The young girl who had the courage to speak out against the rape and sexual abuse that she has
been facing, told us that she had been repeatedly raped by Bunty and his friends as well as by
Prahlad Aggarwal . When she had been first raped by Prahalad Aggarwal she had complained to the
staff and the President of the organization. about how Prahalad Aggarwal had raped her. But tThey
had only laughed at her and humiliated her. But she didn’t loose heart and when the CM had visited
Raigarh recently.she had tried to speak out there too. She had protested that she did not want to stay
at Bal Sadan any more. At that time the Women and Child Development Officer Mr Sissodiya had
told her to keep silent and they would try to get her a job.Thats when this came to the notice of Ms
Jessy Philips and she got the FIR filed.
Though she was very brave when we first spoke to her, she also broke down during our talk with
her. She said that she had very few people to trust and there are pressures on her to withdraw her
complaint. Also, even though she is in a different institution now, there are people who come there
too, and she is being made to repeat the incidents again and again which is emotionally draining for
her. Also many people have been telling her that she made a mistake by speaking about it.
A case of rampant sexual Abuse in the Chakradhar BalSadan
Nikita said that she was not the only girl , who had been facing such abuse . She said that many
other girls were also being sexually used by Bbunty and Prahlad Aggarwal. Bunty also brought his
friends there to abuse the residents. Once the girls had written a letter and given to the staff but it
had been torn and no one took any action against it.
She also revealed that a couple of girls had become pregnant due the sexual abuse but the matter
had been taken care of and hushed up by the staff and no action was taken against the abusers. The
girls have constantly been given threats of violence and being thrown out of the institution if the
speak up out against the sexual abuse.
She said even the Pandit who is Bunty’s father, has been involved in inappropriate behaviour with
the girls.
Emerging I ssues and Concerns –
The complaint was filed on 2/ 9/2013, but the accused are still absconding and have filed for
anticipatory bail. The relatives of one of the accused still continues to be in charge in the institution.
This leaves them free to suppress all the other young girls there and manipulate evidence and
testimonies.
No action till date has been taken by the district administration to conduct an immediate enquiry in
the Chakradhar Bal Ssadan,post other women caretakers, or investigate cases of abuse.
The girl’s testimony clearly indicates that the abuse was continuous and by the staff/ office holder
or or people related to the staff, but no immeidiate inquiery was conducted.
This is a grave issue of custodial rape in an institution housing a very vulnerable section of girl
children.,majority of them being adivasi and dalit. The fact that they are orphans and have no family
or other support to fall back on makes them extremely vulnerable. It is the responsibility of the
institution to keep them safe, failing which the district administration should have taken immediate
steps to ensure the safety of the residents. Not responding with urgency and not taking action
against the staff of Bal Sadan makes the district adminisitration guilty of criminal negligence or of
complicity.
It is to be noted that the Warden, who is the mother of the main accused is still present and in office
in the Bal Sadan and his father (Pandit) is also residing oin the premises. This allows them access
to the girls and allows them to pressurise the young women to not speak up.
There are very clear guidelines in case of custodial rape, when reported in an institution. Any staff
who are accused, or staff is related to the accused, should be placed on suspension or removed from
the facility. But this has not been done.
Imme i diate demands:
· Immeidiate arrest of the accused.
· Immeidiate enquiry into the charges of sexual abuse in Charkradhar Bal Sadan.
· To add charges under the SC/ ST act in the main FIR.
· The accused office holders and staff related to the accused should be suspended and
removed from the premises. The administration of the Chakradhar Bal Sadan should be
handed over to a properly constituted Committee until the enquiry is concluded.
· There need to be proper guidelines for action to be taken when complaints of this nature are
brought up at the district level.
· To provide a secure place for Nikita .
· Taking immeidiate steps to ensure the safety of the residents of Chakradhar Bal Sadan. And
creaeting an atmostphere where they will be able to speak out against the sexual abuse that
they have faced.
Sudha Bharadwaj
General Secretary, PUCL
Mo: 09926693877, [email protected]
Pinki Verma, 8224017479. [email protected]
Chhattisgarh Mahila Mukti Morcha
Rinchin,
Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch
Mo: 9425377349 , [email protected]

Related posts

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: