The police on Tuesday recused 17 minor girls aged between 11-17 from a government recognised orphanage in Tiruvannamalai Town. The minor girls allegedly had to endure sexual harassment in the home. The police has arrested 32 years old Vinod Kumar, who is the in-charge of the home.
This is the third home sealed by the district administration in the last six months in the district after the authorities found that the children have been sexually assaulted by the persons running the home and in-charges, Collector K S Kandasamy told TOI.
The district administration discovered about the sexual harassment of the orphan teenage girls in homes, when they were brought to the government reception home as part of the ‘Big Word’ campaign for a two-day programme recently. The campaign was aimed to ensure the safety of the children in the 32 homes in the district.
The children have confessed that they were abused and exploited by Kumar. “We encourage the children to write a letter and also mention if they are facing any problems. A few of the girls wrote letters, saying that Vinod Kumar has been sexually abusing them,” said an official.
Citing letters from the girls, the official said that Vinod Kumar used to take the minors to the building’s terrace, where he used to forcefully make them watch pornography and abuse them. “He targeted only orphanage children,” Kandasamy said.
Following this, the Collector along with his subordinates have conducted a surprise check at the home and caught Kumar on Tuesday evening. The police secured him and registered a case against him under the provision of POCSO Act. “We will take further course of action after the children open up and reveal what has been going on during their stay in the home,” the Collector said.
Earlier, the authorities have sealed two government registered homes on same charges. “We have rescued 19 and 50 children from two homes (Rainbow Home and Mercy Home) and arrested five persons in connection with the two cases. Three of them have been booked under Goondas Act,” the collector said.