Shelter home head, brother and aide held in MP
THE 70-year-old shelter home head and two others were arrested on Saturday in connection with the sexual abuse of speech and hearing impaired inmates at two orphanages.
Orphanage head MP Awasthi, his brother Vijay and another aide Rakesh were taken into custody after three cases were lodged against them.
“Two cases have been lodged under zero at the TT Nagar police station. The cases will now be transferred for further investigations to the Hoshangabad district police and the Khajuri police station of Bhopal district,” DIG Bhopal Dharmendra Choudhary said. Another case was lodged at the Khajuri police station.
While the two cases were lodged on the complaint of two girls and three boys, a case of molestation was registered at Khajuri on the complaint of the social welfare department. “The cases were lodged after statements were recorded with the help of an interpreter,” said Choudhary.
On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan asserted that the culprits would be brought under the ambit of the recently amended criminal law stipulating death penalty as maximum punishment to those convicted for raping children aged up to 12 years. All the five complainants were minors when Awasthi allegedly sexually abused them.
Awasthi had admitted that he had been running the orphan- ages in Malkhedi (Hoshangabad) and Bairagarh (Bhopal) since 1991 with the approval and support of the social justice department.
Incidentally, the Hooshangabad orphanage inmates had complained about their ordeal in the past, but the district administration closed the shelter home last year instead of taking police action.