Home to be Shut Today
POLLACHI: The home for children run by the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) near the Pollachi old bus stand, where the two girls were raped, has not obtained necessary approval from the district administration for the past two decades and officials have decided to shut it on Friday.
Officials claim that the church administration, which was running the home, had taken permission only till they received funds from their German sponsors and that was two decades ago. Once the grant stopped, the church authorities did not approach the administration for approval or renewal of licence.
“It will be sealed on Friday as it did not function as per the norms laid down under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000,” said Pollachi Sub Collector Rashmi Siddarth Zagade.
Collector Archana Patnaik said that if parents were willing to take their children home, they could do so. Kids coming from poor families could be handed over to the children home in Coimbatore.
However the officials of the district child welfare committee have maintained that they were conducting checks at frequent intervals to ensure safety of girl children.
“We have not received any sexual abuse complaints in the 76 homes and hostels functioning in the district so far. Similarly, the homes have also been sensitized to the norms that have to be followed in running a home,” said G Vijaya District Child Protection Officer.
“The home lacks proper drinking water facility and toilet apart from the fire safety equipment. Three girls staying at the home blamed the authorities for failing appoint a woman warden at the home,” said Zagade
A relative of one of the rape victims told express that “We were told that this home was a registered one. But only after this tragic incident, we came to know that it had not obtained approval from the government. The government should take immediate and strict action against such unregistered institutios.”
Meanwhile, the All Women Police Station at Pollachi has registered a case under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act 2012 and 366 (A)(procuration of minor girl) and 506 (ii)(if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. As one of the girls belonged to a Scheduled Caste, the police have also invoked the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled extent and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.