Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baleswar, May 27:
Collector of Odisha’s Baleswar district today dismissed the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) and Programme Officer (PO) in connection with the alleged sexual exploitation of a minor girl at two short stay homes in the district.
Collector Sanatan Mallik, apart from dismissing DCPO Itishree Mohapatra and PO Smitanjali Behura, also ordered for sealing of short stay homes-Bapuji Seva Sadan at Mitrapur and Santwana Sudhara Home. Mallik further ordered for stopping all aid to these short stay homes and shift its incumbents elsewhere.
The collector’s orders came following directives from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
A minor unable to bear torture at the hands of her father had ran away from her home on November 5, 2010, she was rescued by Childline authorities from Siliguri railway station on November 7. After her rescue Childline authorities had handed over the minor to Bapuji Seva Sadan.
Allegedly, since her stay at Bapuji Seva Sadan she was sexually exploited by Goura Chandra Khamari, husband of the manager of the short stay home. Later on the advice of the District Child Welfare Officer she was shifted to Santwana Sudhara Gruha. There too with the knowledge of caretaker Mamata Behera, the minor was allegedly sexually exploited by Behera’s husband Vinod Nayak.
Following lodging of separate complaints on this account at Nilagiri and Sahadevkhunta police stations and police investigations into the matter police arrested accused Goura Chandra Khamari, Mamata Behera and Vinod Nayak and forwarded them to court.
Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports on the allegations made by the minor the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) conducted investigations into the matter and on finding truth in the allegations directed Baleswar collector for necessary action.
“The NHRC team had visited here. I too had accompanied them and conducted investigations. We found that Bapuji Seva Sadan had several lapses. Similarly, Santwana Sudhara Gruha too has lapses on its part. Based on it the state government today decided to initiate dismiss case against the DCPO and PO and issue show cause notices to others. Third thing is to see to it that all aid is stopped to Bapuji Seva Sadan and Santwana Sudhara Gruha and seize them,” said the collector.