BHOPAL: A week after a 16-year-old alleged rape survivor died at a hospital in Bhopal due to "sleeping pills overdose", a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team has started its probe into all aspects of the case.
The five-member team comprising NCPCR registrar Anu Chaudhary, a psychiatry expert from AIIMS-Delhi, besides experts in legal affairs and POCSO Act were in Bhopal on Wednesday. They recorded statements of 14-15 stakeholders in the matter, including the members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the MP government to probe the teenager’s death, the NCPCR head Priyank Kanoongo told TNIE.
The team members during their visit to the MP capital met with officials of the state women and child development (WCD) department, members of the SIT of state police probing the case, doctors who conducted the autopsy of the girl’s body, the children shelter home staff, besides the family of the deceased girl and other survivor’s of the July 2020 rape case.
The NCPCR had sent to the state government a detailed report about lacunas at 125-children shelter homes in MP around a year and a half ago. But the state government has responded to the report and the Commission’s recommendations with an Action Taken Report (ATR) only a few days back, just after the girl’s death.
“We had sent the MP government our detailed findings and recommendations pertaining to the 125 plus children homes, but the state government responded with ATR about just one children home (the Bhopal children home where the five rape survivor girls were housed since last six months) and that too only after the teenage girl’s death,” Kanoongo maintained.
Importantly, the 16-year-old girl who died at the Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal on January 20 late night after battling for life for two days was among the five minor girls, who were sexually abused by an elderly newspaper owner Pyare Miyan. The rape case against Pyare Miyan was registered on the complaint of the five girls in July 2020 in Bhopal and the prime accused in the case was arrested from Srinagar (Kashmir) in July 2020 only. He is presently lodged in jail.
Two of the five alleged rape survivor girls who were housed at the shelter home in Bhopal on the directions of Bhopal district’s child welfare committee (CWC) were admitted at the JP Hospital in Bhopal on January 18 reportedly after an overdose of sleeping pills.
One of the two alleged survivors was subsequently referred to Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal after her condition worsened and was put on ventilator support. She died on January 20 late at night at Hamidia Hospital.
On January 22, the CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered an SIT probe into the matter. Directions have been issued to the SIT to complete the probe in 10 days. But the opposition Congress has been demanding a CBI probe into the entire matter.