BHOPAL: A horrific case of a young speech and hearing impaired girl being allegedly raped, forced to abort and the fetus then being burnt - all in a shelter home has been reported in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh.
Six persons, including Dr VK Sharma, the director of the shelter home 'Snehalaya,' his trustee wife and four male staff of the shelter home have been arrested on Friday. Three more persons accused in the case, including Sahib Singh, the chowkidar, who allegedly raped the hapless girl and two women who were part of entire sequence of entire crime are still at large.
This is the third such case in Madhya Pradesh, after the alleged rape and molestation of four speech and hearing impaired tribal girls in a private hostel by the hostel director Ashwini Sharma in Bhopal in August and the recent revelation of two deaf and mute girls and four speech and hearing impaired boys about having been sexually abused by the ex-army man-turned-septuagenarian director and his aides at centers in Hoshangabad and Bhopal since 2010.
The latest case has been reported from Snehalaya, a shelter home run by one Dr VK Sharma on Jhansi Road highway in Gwalior district.
The Gwalior district program officer recently received a call from a female inmate of the shelter home about a 24-year-old speech and hearing impaired girl being forced to abort pregnancy and the resultant three-months-old fetus being burnt in the same shelter home.
A team of women and child development department was sent to the concerned shelter home, which after primary probe based on recording statements of the inmates, including the alleged rape survivor speech and hearing impaired girl, found the complaint made to the district program officer prima facie true.
The primary probe revealed that the 24-year-old speech and hearing impaired girl was raped by the chowkidar inside the shelter home premises over three months back. On coming to know that she became pregnant due to the sexual abuse, she was forced to abort on September 19 and the resultant fetus (possibly around three-months-old) was wrapped in a polythene bag and burnt to destroy the evidence of the alleged crime.
While confirming the arrest of six persons out of the nine accused, the Bilauva police station in-charge Amit Bhadauria said efforts are being made to arrest the remaining three accused in the case.
The district child protection officer Sandeep Jayant who along with his team conducted the probe before reporting it to Bilauva police station on Thursday night said experts will soon be sent to the concerned shelter home to counsel other girls, record their statements and if necessary conduct their medical check-ups also.
The arrested head of the shelter home, 55-year-old Dr VK Sharma, his wife and other aides, however, denied the allegations.
Importantly, the concerned shelter home is linked to donors from other nations, including England, US and Australia. Volunteers from these nations also visit the home and work there at regular intervals.