RANCHI: Four people including the Director of the Jamshedpur based Mother Teresa Welfare Trust, his wife and two others have been arrested over the sexual assault of minor girls lodged at the shelter home run by the NGO. An FIR under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and various sections of the IPC was lodged following a complaint by two minor girls who were rescued by police after they escaped from the shelter home.
According to police, the FIR was lodged against Harpal Singh Thapar, director of the home, his wife Pushpa Rani Tirkey, who is also the chairperson of the East Singhbhum district child welfare committee (CWC), Warden Geeta Singh, her son Aditya Singh, and another staff member Tony Singh under the POCSO Act and other sections of the IPC following the complaint lodged by the two rescued girls.
Sources in the police department said that girl inmates were being abused at the shelter home for more than four years. The four accused were arrested from Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday and teken to Jamshedpur early in the morning on Wednesday.
“Yes, the four accused persons have been arrested and were taken to Jamshedpur today itself,” said Officer in Charge of Telco Police Station Ajay Kumar.
According to the statement recorded by the girls, the shelter home had 23 girls in two rooms on the second floor of Shamsher Tower located in Kharangajhar. The warden used to live in another room on the same floor with her daughter and son. Thapar and Tirkey lived on the first floor, while 22 boys lived on the ground floor.
Police said the two girls, aged 16 and 17, have also given video-recorded statements in which they reiterated all the charges made in their statements to the special POCSO Court. The girls said they were physically and mentally tortured at the home and made to give in to the sexual demands of the perpetrators, it said.
In the wake of the allegations, forty minor girls at the children’s home run by the state government-approved NGO, Mother Teresa Welfare Trust, were moved to Bal Kalyan Aashram, Gobarghausi in Jamshedpur.