Dhenkanal shelter home sexual abuse: Childline urges Odisha CM to order CB probe



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Bhubaneswar : The Childline on Tuesday urged the Odisha Chief Minister to order a Crime Branch probe into the Dhenkanal shelter home sexual abuse case.

Childline—a project of the Ministry of Women & Child Development— has appealed for the urgent intervention of the Odisha CM in the matter of child abuse in child care institutions.

In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Childline director-in-charge Benudhar Senapati apprised that the case requires a multifold investigation starting from sexual abuse of children to foreign links and trafficking.

The Childline urged the Odisha CM to instruct the Collectors of all the districts to identify illegal CCIs/Hostels and places where children stay through ICPS workers, school teachers and police within seven days.

The Collectors should initiate immediate legal proceeding against these NGOs / institutions. The children of these institutions should be rehabilitated in due process — family restoration or education sponsorship or transferred to other registered institutions as per suitability, the Childline said.

The Childline also mentioned that all the functionaries of the CCIs should be imparted training within a month. Besides, the Collectors should take a war footing action with the help of DCPUs, CWCs and Childline organisations and necessary funds be placed with the DCPUs for the purpose.

The letter also asked to instruct the Director General of Police to issue a circular to depute the Child Welfare Police Officer/Designated Officer of Mahila and Sishu Desk of the local police station to attend the Home Management Committee meetings organised every month.

It also suggested that social audit of all the CCIs on a quarterly/half-yearly basis is the best possible method by which transparency and accountability in the management and functioning of CCIs and other bodies under the JJ Act and Model Rules /State Rules can be monitored and supervised.

The Childline further urged to ensure that no child living in any child care institution has been a victim of religious conversion.

If such an incident comes to the notice, the district administration should cancel the registration of the CCI without delay and file an FIR in the local police station, the letter further stated.

The Childline’s demands came after, the alleged incidents of aggravated sexual assault of girls residing in Good News India Shelter homes, the involvement of the institution authority in converting the religion of children and trafficking of girl inmates spread like wildfire.

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