Bhopal, Sept 15: Five minor inmates, including three boys and two girls, escaped from a private shelter home in Bhopal and reached the Social Justice department to narrate their ordeal. In their complaint, the escapees alleged rapes and murders inside the shelter home run by a 70-year-old ex-Armyman.
The children claimed at least three deaths have happened in the hostel. As per their complaint, one boy died after excessive bleeding following a sexual assault, another died after his head was banged to the wall and third passed away due to cold after he was forced to stand in the open during a winter night.
On the directions of the Social Justice department, the Bhopal police has registered an FIR. The Army veteran who runs the shelter home has been arrested. An investigation is underway to ascertain the allegations and nab others involved.
Krishna Mohan Tiwari, director, Social Justice Department, said he has written to the Collector to ensure the probe has no lapses.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that the shelter home was registered in 1995 and became active in 2003 following the admission of 58 girls and 42 boys. It was entitled to annual grants by the state government.
The shelter home was currently being looked after by four teachers. A full-time warden was reportedly suspended few months back after he was found lacking the required educational qualifications.
The incident comes in the backdrop of Muzaffarpur shelter home abuse case in Bihar, where more than 30 girls were sexually assaulted over a prolonged period. Taking cue from the case, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had, in the past month, ordered monthly inspections of the private shelter homes and orphanages.