In­dian chil­dren’s ....

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

said Thurs­day.

R S Meena was charged on Wed­nes­day over the al­leged as­saults at the gov­ern­ment-run home in New Delhi which houses chil­dren res­cued from traf­fick­ing, beg­ging and labour rack­ets.

“We ar­rested the ac­cused af­ter record­ing state­ments of the vic­tims and the of­fi­cials,” as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner of po­lice Satish Kain told AFP, adding that med­i­cal tests con­firmed sex­ual as­sault.

He has been charged with “rap­ing un­der law­ful cus­tody”, a broad crim­i­nal charge that in­cludes sex­ual as­sault.

More than 50 chil­dren aged be­tween six and 10 live at the fa­cil­ity in the cap­i­tal, where young peo­ple from around the coun­try are of­ten brought il­le­gally for bonded labour.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Meena also as­saulted other girls dur­ing his one-yearstint as su­per­in­ten­dent of the home.

The 45-year-old is ac­cused of lur­ing the girls to a room on the pre­text they needed a “checkup” and then gag­ging and as­sault­ing them, be­fore threat­en­ing to throw them out if they raised the alarm.

He also al­legedly filmed the as­saults on his mo­bile phone and took self­ies, po­lice said.

The girls com­plained about the as­saults to the care­taker who had been away from the fa­cil­ity when the of­fences oc­curred.

In­dia has a poor his­tory of tack­ling sex­ual abuse in homes and other res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­i­ties, with rights groups ac­cus­ing au­thor­i­ties of fail­ing to swiftly bring of­fend­ers to jus­tice.

A UN Com­mit­tee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 said it was alarmed about wide­spread vi­o­lence and sex­ual abuse of chil­dren in In­dia.

The com­mit­tee said one in three rape vic­tims in In­dia was a mi­nor and half of the abusers were known to the child or in a po­si­tion of trust and re­spon­si­bil­ity.—AFP

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