Af­ter abuse, res­cued girls kept at boys’ home: Re­port

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - News - Moushumi Das Gupta moushumi.gupta@hin­dus­tan­ ■


NEWDELHI:The Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Pro­tec­tion of Child Rights (NCPCR), which sent a fourmem­ber team to Ut­tar Pradesh’s Deo­ria in Au­gust af­ter 26 girls were res­cued from an il­le­gally run shel­ter home where they were al­legedly sub­jected to phys­i­cal and sex­ual abuse, has found glar­ing in­ad­e­qua­cies and in­sen­si­tiv­ity in the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the trau­ma­tised vic­tims.

For one thing, de­spite their dis­tressed men­tal state, the in­mates weren’t even pro­vided a “gen­der­ap­pro­pri­ate” and “se­cure” fa­cil­ity to move to, the coun­try’s apex child rights body said in its re­port, which was sub­mit­ted to the Union min­istry of women and child de­vel­op­ment last week.

The NCPCR sent the fourmem­ber team on Au­gust 9, three days af­ter the res­cue. The in­mates of Maa Vind­hyavasini Mahila and Ba­lika San­rak­shan Grih in Deo­ria, be­ing run il­le­gally by a cou­ple, were res­cued af­ter a 10-year-old girl es­caped from the shel­ter and com­plained to the po­lice.The girls com­plained of hav­ing been sub­jected to phys­i­cal and sex­ual abuse.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the res­cue, the vic­tims were housed in a chil­dren’s home for boys, called Ra­jkiya Bal Grih, in Deo­ria, and were forced to share the fa­cil­ity for a week, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. They were later shifted to sep­a­rate gov­ern­ment-run homes in Varanasi, Bal­lia and Al­la­habad.

“Against the grav­ity of the grue­some in­ci­dent, the sex­u­ally abused girls were re­stored to a chil­dren home for boys. Thus fail­ing to pro­vide a se­cure, safe and com­fort­able space for (the) girls to re­cover from the trauma,” (sic) said the re­port, a copy of which has been seen by HT.

“He can­not mon­i­tor any­thing. There is likely to be a change in the next few days; we have to wait and watch,” Lobo said. On Fri­day evening, Par­rikar vis­ited his an­ces­tral home for Ganesh Chaturthi cel­e­bra­tions for about 25 min­utes. He is not known to miss the an­nual fes­ti­val and this year only made it on the sec­ond day. A host of rul­ing party mem­bers, min­is­ter and law­mak­ers called on the chief min­is­ter on Fri­day.

Lobo, who called on Par­rikar at a pri­vate hospi­tal in Can­dolim be­fore his de­par­ture for New Delhi, de­scribed his con­di­tion as “not good.” Re­ports in­di­cate that Par­rikar is not re­spond­ing to med­i­ca­tion and is pro­gres­sively be­com­ing weaker, which led to his be­ing shifted to AIIMS.

As it faces pres­sure from al­liance part­ners to put an al­ter­na­tive in place in the ab­sence of Par­rikar, who has held the coali­tion to­gether since it was formed af­ter the Fe­bru­ary 2017 state elec­tions, the BJP has limited op­tions be­fore it: dis­so­lu­tion of the house to make way for early elec­tions, ap­point­ing Union min­is­ter of state for AYUSH Shri­pad Naik as in­terim CM or hand­ing charge to some­one else in the cab­i­net.

Pres­i­dent of the Ma­ha­rash­trawadi Go­man­tak Party (MGP) Deepak Dhava­likar de­manded that charge of the state be en­trusted to “some­body se­nior” for the sake of Goa. MGP min­is­ter Sudin Dhava­likar is the se­nior­most leader in the state assem­bly.

“What I have said is in the in­ter­est of Goa. The charge needs to be given to some­body se­nior. For the last eight months Goans are suf­fer­ing. Some­body needs to be in charge in Goa. Let it be given to some­body se­nior. Let them (BJP) de­cide who it needs to be given to,” Deepak Dhava­likar told Hin­dus­tan Times. Sudin Dhava­likar was ap­pointed the leader of the rul­ing benches dur­ing an ear­lier hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion of Par­rikar. Goa For­ward Party, an­other al­liance part­ner, and in­de­pen­dent Govind Gaude, who is also a min­is­ter, don’t favour the idea. Gaude de­feated Deepak Dhava­likar in the elec­tions last year. Goa For­ward’s supremo Vi­jai Sarde­sai said the MGP’s opin­ion alone didn’t mat­ter; what mat­tered is a con­sen­sus. Its stance could throw the al­liance into jeop­ardy.

The BJP’s sit­u­a­tion is com­pli­cated by the fact that the se­nior­most BJP leader and for­mer deputy chief min­is­ter un­der Par­rikar,D’Souza, is also ail­ing and hos­pi­talised at the Me­mo­rial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­tre in New York, the same fa­cil­ity where Par­rikar was ad­mit­ted ear­lier this year.

The chief min­is­ter, as has been his style of func­tion­ing. keeps most of the port­fo­lios with him­self; he cur­rently holds 52 port­fo­lios. Be­sides the main port­fo­lios of home and fi­nance, Par­rikar also looks af­ter min­ing, en­vi­ron­ment and forests. In ad­di­tion, he has been look­ing af­ter the port­fo­lios of his two ail­ing col­leagues D’Souza (ur­ban de­vel­op­ment and law) and Pan­durang Mad­kaikar (elec­tric­ity).

Par­rikar was in­stru­men­tal in stitch­ing to­gether the rul­ing al­liance in Goa. Two of the BJP’s al­lies, in­clud­ing Dhava­likar’s MGP, had made their join­ing the al­liance in 2017 con­di­tional on Par­rikar lead­ing the gov­ern­ment. The BJP has 14 MLAs and the two ma­jor al­liance part­ners have three MLAs each in the 40-mem­ber house.

The op­po­si­tion Congress, which re­mains the sin­gle largest party with 16 MLAs, said it would wait and watch as the sit­u­a­tion de­vel­ops but did not lose the op­por­tu­nity to hit out at the rulin­gal­liance. “Therul­ing­po­lit­i­cal par­ties are un­leash­ing the ugly game of power and clam­our­ing for their ben­e­fit. They can’t even give charge to a trusted lieu­tenant in the ab­sence of CM. While we sym­pa­thise with the chief min­is­ter as far as his health is con­cerned, his act of snatch­ing away the man­date given to the Congress in the 2017 assem­bly elec­tions and his to­tal mis­man­age­ment of all ma­jor is­sues in Goa has al­ready driven Goa to the edge,” state Congress pres­i­dent Girish Cho­dankar said. “No one in Goa is Happy, the BJP is not happy, al­lies are not happy, the peo­ple of Goa are un­happy, bu­reau­crats and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cers are un­happy, even the CM and min­is­ters are un­happy. This hap­pens when you don’t re­spect peo­ple’s man­date.”

The CM was first hos­pi­talised on Fe­bru­ary 14 for what was re­ported to be a case of food poi­son­ing. On Fe­bru­ary 16, the state ad­min­is­tra­tion said the CM “is well and un­der ob­ser­va­tion... It is a case of mild pan­cre­ati­tis.”

The next day, how­ever, it was re­ported that Par­rikar was un­der mon­i­tor­ing for “in­flamed pan­creas” and the Goa Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly’s bud­get ses­sion, ini­tially planned for three weeks, was cur­tailed to only four days.

On Fe­bru­ary 23, he de­fied the odds and pre­sented the state’s fi­nan­cial state­ment in the Assem­bly the same day he was dis­charged from Mum­bai’s Lilavati Hospi­tal.Two days later he had to be read­mit­ted to hospi­tal with de­hy­dra­tion. He trav­elled to the US for treat­ment on March 5 and re­mained there for a pe­riod of three months, re­turn­ing on June 14 in time for the mon­soon ses­sion of the Goa assem­bly. He flew to the US on Au­gust 10 for fol­low-up treat­ment,re­turned on Au­gust 20 and was ad­mit­ted in Mum­bai’s Lilavati Hospi­tal the next day. While he was ini­tially ex­pected to come back on Au­gust 25, his re­turn was de­layed and then he left again for the US on Au­gust 30, re­turn­ing on Septem­ber 6 only to be ad­mit­ted in a hospi­tal in Goa ear­lier this week.

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