Berhampur collector blames lack of official coordination

Despite ongoing search by four teams of police personnel since the incident, six of the 13 minors girls, who had escaped from Utkal Balashram, are yet to be traced.

Published: 16th January 2020 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2020 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR: Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange on Wednesday blamed lack of coordination between Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) for the escape of 13 inmates of Utkal Balashram here on January 6.

Despite ongoing search by four teams of police personnel since the incident, six of the 13 minors girls, who had escaped from Utkal Balashram, are yet to be traced.

During a meeting to review performance of shelter homes in the district, the Collector directed officials concerned to ensure proper coordination and take steps to address issues prevailing at shelter homes in the district.

He said every shelter home in the district will be placed under district level officers. He also directed the 13 shelter homes and 10 special schools in the district to submit their performance report to the district administration every month.

Earlier, Superintendent of Utkal Balashram Susmita Padhi had lodged a complaint in the matter with Gosaninuagaon police. The district administration had claimed that 11 of the inmates were rescued from Bhubaneswar. However, Sultana Begum of State Child Welfare Commission, who visited the Balashram on January 11, told mediapersons that only six of the missing inmates were rescued.

Later, another girl was rescued from Hinjili. All the seven rescued inmates of the Balashram were presented before the Child Welfare Committee on January 13, said CWC Chairman Ranjeet Banerjee.
It was alleged that inmates had fled the Balashram owing to discrimination and torture. But the rescued girls said they took the step after picking up a fight with other inmates. Of the 13 inmates who escaped from the facility, one was rescued during child marriage, another by Childline, three from Berhampur railway station and eight from a shelter home.

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