Probe on in differently-abled girls' rape case

Jaipur, May 19 : Two days after three hearing- and speech-impaired girls alleged rape and molestation by employees of a residential school here, statements of all the victims has been recorded, police said Sunday.

The incident occurred in a school run by an NGO. Statements of sixteen differently-abled inmates were also being recorded on suspicion that there may be more victims, police said.

Police had arrested four employees, including a woman, and the director of Awaaz Foundation Saturday after some girls staying in the hostel run by it alleged rape and molestation.

A police officer told IANS that hostel warden Ashok Prajapat and security guard Mahesh Mali were arrested for rape. Clerk Suresh Bairwa was arrested for molestation and his wife Geeta was arrested for beating up the girls. The school's director Alpana has been arrested for hiding the crime.

"We registered a first information report (FIR) two days ago on complaint of five girls, three of whom were raped and molested, while two were beaten up," the officer said.

The five girls are orphans and were earlier living in a child shelter home run by the state government in Jaipur, the officer added.

"They were sent to the residential school run by Awaaz Foundation where they got speech therapy. They stayed in the school's hostel and returned to the shelter home during vacations. Sixteen speech- and hearing-impaired girls stayed in the hostel. All the girls are minors," said the officer.

When the girls came to the shelter home from the residential school for summer vacations April 30, they complained about being beaten up.

The state government's child welfare committee (CWC) counselled the girls May 15, during which the victims complained that they were raped, molested and beaten up several times at the residential school over the past one year.

"We have come to know that the warden and the security guard were raping the girls since July last year," said the officer.

In their statement to police Saturday evening, five girls have alleged that they were frequently beaten up by the school employees.

"They were treated in a very brutal way," said the officer.

"The other girls returned to their families during the summer vacations. We will speak to them to ascertain if any of them were also abused," said the officer.

--IANS (Posted on 19-05-2013)

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