A fact-finding report by the Women and Transgender Organisations’ JAC has blamed criminal negligence on the part of officials responsible and systemic failure for the death of the orphan girl who had been a victim of sexual assault at an orphanage at Ameenpur in Sangareddy district.
Directing several questions at officials, a statement issued by the JAC on Tuesday demanded thorough investigation into the incident and severe punishment to the culprits.
The child, staying in Maruthi Orphanage, was sent away to a relativess home on March 21, when she was sick. The repeated sexual assaults on the child came to light only on July 30, and the next day, a police complaint was lodged.
Though it was known that the girl needed medical attention, she was admitted to Niloufer Hospital only a week later, thus losing precious time, the fact-finding report alleged.
Inquiry should be conducted into why the girl had not been sent to hospital from Bharosa Centre on August 1, despite visible torture marks on her body.
Holding the Child Welfare Committee of Rangareddy district too responsible, the report sought to know why the CWC which had recorded the girl’s statement on August 3, filed a case against her relatives only four days later.
The girl’s aunt, Preethi, who, along with the JAC members, addressed a press conference on Tuesday, alleged that a statement had been extracted from her by the CWC, that she wished to hand over the girl to government shelter home, when all she sought was treatment for the child.
The statement also alleged pressure by the CWC on the Jeedimetla police for arrest of the relatives under the POCSO Act, even while not mentioning the sexual assault at the orphanage and the related FIR in the complaint.
While medical supervision was mentioned as reason for the girl being referred to the government shelter home in Nimboli Adda on August 3, the home officials had not bothered to admit the girl in hospital till four days later.
The girl died in tragic circumstances because her health condition had not been taken seriously by the systems entrusted with her protection, the statement said, demanding fair investigation and action against all the officials responsible, including those who delayed arrest of the accused.
The JAC also demanded thorough inquiry into the credentials of all registered and unregistered homes and orphanages across the State. Future incidents should be precluded through transparency in monitoring.
Child care institutions which did not adhere to the guidelines by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and National Commission for Women, should be de-recognised, and government should take responsibility of children lodged in them. K. Sajaya, social activist, Sandhya of Progressive Organisation of Women, Sujatha Surepally of Dalit Women Collective, Khaleeda Parveen of Amoomat Society and K. Satyavathi of Bhumika Women’s Collective addressed the press meet.