Patna: Police in Bihar have registered a case against a senior district administrative official for allegedly sodomising a teenage boy lodged in a children’s home.
The official in question, Rajeshwari Pandey, posted as the additional district magistrate (social security) in Purnia district has, in the meantime, been removed from his post in light of the charges levelled against him.
The case was filed against the official at the K Hat police station in Purnia district late on Wednesday evening on the instruction of the Juvenile Justice Board.
The development followed a written complaint by the victim’s father who in his petition had charged the official with sexually assaulting his 14-year-old son at his official residence. It was not made clear why the victim had been lodged in the children’s home.
“The official has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” the local Purnia district superintendent of police Kim, who goes by only one name, told the media on Thursday.
The development comes barely a week after a minor girl lodged in another children’s shelter meant only for deprived girls in northern Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district was reportedly found to be pregnant, prompting the police to register cases against the person running the shelter and four others. The two-member inquiry committee of the State Women Commission which visited the home and talked to the inmates later found large-scale violence perpetrated against the girls.
All the inmates allegedly told the inquiry team that they the officials at the shelter forced them to perform immoral acts.
“Inmates we talked to said the officials used to give them punishments in many forms, either by keeping them hungry for several days or beating them mercilessly, until they got ready to obey them,” State Women Commission member Manju Kumari told the local media, adding “All the inmates accused the warden-cum-clerk as the kingpin of the immoral activities”.
The medical team conducted a pregnancy test on the victim, along with two other girls on Wednesday. The report is awaited.
Former chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Rabri Devi on Thursday come down heavily on the state government for failing to protect the women. “Women in Bihar are not safe anywhere. Previously, they were not safe in their homes or outside. Now they are not safe even in childcare homes. The sexual exploitation of a girl in a Muzaffarpur remand home is a matter of great concern,” said Rabri Devi who is wife of jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. She also sought a high-level probe into the matter alleging that efforts were on to hush up the case.