NGO worker, son-in-law arrested for assaulting protection home inmates

Last Updated: Thu, May 10, 2012 15:10 hrs

Rohtak (Haryana), May 10 (IANS) Police Thursday arrested an award-winning NGO worker and her son-in-law following allegations of physical and sexual assault on inmates of a protection home for girls and c hildren in this Haryana town.

Nearly 120 people, including women, girls and children, were rescued from a protection home in Haryana's Rohtak town, the home town of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, following a raid conducted by a team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Wednesday night.

Police have arrested the care-taker of the protection home, Jaswanti, and also registered a case of molestation, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation against her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan. Both have also been booked under the Immoral Trafficking Act and Child Protection Act.

The raid was conducted by the NCPCR team at the Apna Ghar (child welfare house), Mahila-Aawas (women protection house) and the family consultation centre in Shri Nagar Colony here following complaints that the inmates were being harassed and physically abused.

The centres are being run by NGO, Bharat Vikas Sangh.

'A case under section 354 (molestation), 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),the Immoral Trafficking Act and Child Protection Act has been registered against Jaswanti and her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan. Both have been arrested,' said Rohtak district police chief Vivek Sharma.

Interacting with the NCPCR team, the inmates of the protection home levelled serious allegations of physical, mental and sexual harassment and criminal intimidation against Jaswanti and her son-in-law.

Incidentally, Jaswanti had been awarded the Indira Gandhi Woman Empowerment Award, carrying a prize of Rs.1 lakh, in March. She has dismissed the charges against her as 'baseless'.

The NCPCR team has asked the government to appoint an administrator for the protection home.

'We have checked the record of the NGO, living conditions and facilities being made available in the houses for the welfare of children and women.We have also talked to inmates who levelled various serious allegations against Jaswanti and her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan,' NCPCR member Vinod Tikkoo told media here.

He said three girl inmates, who had run away from the protection home three days back, had reported the happenings of the protection home to the National Women Rights Commission in Delhi.

The girls had also alleged that they were being routinely beaten up for not complying with the orders of the in-charge.

A police spokesman said that the protection home has been taken over by the Rohtak district administration. The police have set up a special investigation team in this regard.

The police are also interrogating Simmi, wife of Jai Bhagwan, to know the details of the goings-on at the protection centre.

'The statement of the children and women living in the society are also being taken. Besides, the medical examination of all the women and children would also be conducted,' the police spokesman said.

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