Bolangir: Amid the rising number of sexual harassment cases in Odisha, alleged rape of an HIV infected minor girl by the chief of a shelter home in Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi district has now shocked the entire State.
As per reports, the minor girl, a native of Bolangir, staying at the shelter home ‘Prayas’ located at Bhoiguda Road in Bhawanipatna was allegedly raped by Saroj Kumar Das, the head of Vision, an organization which manages the shelter home meant for HIV infected minor girls.
Sources said, not only the minor girl, but several other inmates of the shelter home were allegedly sexually exploited by Das. Surprisingly, the senior lady staff of the shelter home allegedly used to help Das to carry out these activities.
The matter came to light after the mother of the survivor opened up about the shocking incident and knocked the doors of the Bolangir District Child Protection officer for justice. Following the incident, she has also taken her minor girl back to home.
“My daughter told me the ‘Sir’ of the institute raped her and so she did not want to stay there any longer,” mother of the survivor said.
It is pertinent to mention that the minor girl was rehabilitated in Vision shelter home along with her sister after they were raped by a cousin in 2016. Following the incident, the accused was arrested whereas police with the help of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) moved the two girls to ‘Prayas’ shelter home.
Reacting strongly over the incident, Bolangir District Child Protection Officer, Binodini Pradhan said she will look into the matter and take appropriate action at her level.
Social activist from Bolangir, Sagarika Guru expressed shock over the incident and said, “The rape survivor herself is narrating the ordeal and therefore she is the witness into the case. When she is also alleging that other minor girls at the shelter home are going through similar experience, stringent action must be taken against the accused.”
Meanwhile, the shelter home head has refuted the charges and clarified that the minor girl has been blackmailing him as he denied to give her money.