BHOPAL: The police arrested the head of a private girls’ hostel on Thursday for allegedly raping a 19-year-old hearing and speech impaired inmate.
Police suspect that the questioning of Ashwini Sharma, 36, who ran the private hostel for hearing and speech impaired girls at a posh township in Bhopal’s Awadhpuri area, could unearth a series of rapes and sexual harassments perpetrated by him.
“We’ll produce the accused in the court on Friday, and seek his police remand for questioning,” said SP, Bhopal South, Rahul
Sharma was arrested after the girl, who hails from Dhar district, lodged a case of rape, molestation, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement at the Dhar Kotwali on Wednesday.
Two more speech and hearing impaired sisters, who also stayed at the same private girls’ hostel, lodged a case of molestation against Sharma at Indore’s Hira Nagar police station.
“Once the investigation is transferred to Bhopal, Sharma will be arrested in that case also before being produced before a Bhopal court on Friday,” said Lodha.
With two cases now registered against Sharma, the statements of other hostel inmates are likely to be recorded by the police.
At a counselling session in Indore on August 2, the sisters confided to Gyanendra Purohit, a local NGO head, that they had arrived at their home in Dhar after being repeatedly molested by Sharma.
“Both the girls told me through an interpreter that two more tribal girls, who too are from Dhar, were in a much awful state. One of the two girls is living with her parents. Subsequently, we approached the 19-year-old tribal girl and counselled her on August 7. She narrated how Sharma raped her repeatedly from October 2017 to August 2018,” Purohit told TNIE.
Sharma ran his hostel at two duplex houses, while the mess for the speech-hearing and visually impaired girls was run at another duplex.