Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought Centre's intervention in the sexual harassment of girl inmates at Dream Center shelter home in Beltikiri village of Dhenkanal.

In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Pradhan made a request for exemplary action against the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Citing the request from State president of Mahila Morcha demanding stern action against persons involved in the sexual exploitation of the girls at Dream Centre Shelter Home, Pradhan highlighted that the shelter home, run by Good News India NGO, is involved in forceful religious conversion and human trafficking.

The Mahila Morcha president Pravati Parida's petition alleged that, "The flow of foreign funds to Good News India is very high and it is running 26 shelter homes in Odisha out of which 15 are illegal. The State government is a mute spectator to the blatant violation of Juvenile Justice Act."

On Thursday, the officials of children protection unit, children welfare committee and police led by the sub-collector conducted a raid at a branch of Dream Centre shelter home in Rayagada district.

Similar raid was also conducted at Dream Centre shelter home at Sanokumuli village of Nabarangpur district.

Earlier, the arrested chief of Dream Centre Shelter Home, Fayaz Rahman alias 'Daddy' had revealed that the head office of Good News India, which is the operator of the shelter homes, is in Salgaria, West Bengal.

It received Rs 14 to Rs 15 crore as foreign donation and the amount was transferred directly through a private bank from USA to West Bengal and then to Bhubaneswar.

The matter of sexual harassment had come to fore after some inmates of the Dhenkanal shelter home had accused the owner and caretaker of sexual harassing them on November 30.