Subadh Kumar Nayak

Kalahandi: The Bolangir Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Sunday confirmed truth behind the allegations that Saroj Das, the head of Vision, an organization which manages 'Prayas' shelter home in Bhawanipatna, sexually abused a minor inmate of the shelter home meant for HIV kids.

Bolangir CWC chairperson, Jageswar Mohanty informed that his team has received vital leads in connection with the allegations against Das.

The district Sub-Collector along with the members of District Child Protection Unit also conducted a raid in the shelter home last night. Apart from verifying documents, they questioned some inmates of the shelter home over the matter.

"We have got some proof that Saroj Das has sexually abused the minor girl. Apart from the survivor's mother, the girl also agreed that she was assaulted by Saroj. A case will be registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and Section 376 of the IPC against the accused at Bhawanipatna Police station," CWC chairperson Jageswar Mohanty informed.

Meanwhile, following the complaints, the district police reportedly detained Das for interrogation. The cops also questioned the survivor and her mother to ascertain truth behind the matter.

However, the CWC chairperson has flagged concerns over police interrogation of the complainant and the survivor in the absence CWC officials. Terming the action by the police as illegal, the CWC chairperson has said that it will move the Collector and SP if required.

It may be noted, that in her complaint, the girl's mother from Bolangir district had alleged that Saroj sexually assaulted several inmates including her daughter with the support of the senior lady employee of the shelter home. Besides, she also demanded strict punishment for the accused.

On the other hand, terming the allegation as a conspiracy against him, Saroj pleaded innocence. "The student should have ideally informed the matter to the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or the nearest police station immediately after the incident. I don't know under what circumstances she is now levelling such allegations, four months after leaving the hostel," Das said in his reaction.