Haryana cops raped us: Children's home inmates

FP

Inmates of the Apna Ghar shelter in Rohtak told a four-member committee that visited them today that they were gangraped by Haryana Police officials, who made them dance naked and forcibly took them out of the home.

According to sources, two of the inmates one deaf and mute and the other mentally challenged said that when they got pregnant, the incharge of the home stepped on their stomachs and inserted sticks inside their private parts to force abortions.

On May 10, a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights team had raided Apna Ghar run by an NGO, Bharat Vikas Sangh, and rescued 94 minors, mostly girls. Incharge Jaswanti Devi and her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan were arrested. The four-member committee today visited four shelter homes in Panipat, Sonepat, Karnal and Chhachhroli where the minors had been shifted. They talked to 28 inmates.

Almost all the inmates reportedly said that Haryana Police officials were frequent visitors to Apna Ghar and would abuse them with the help of Jaswanti Devi. The latter, incidentally, is a recipient of a number of state awards for "empowering women".

Rohtak superintendent of police Vikas Dhankar said he was not aware of the charges. "We will look into the charges when the committee submits its report to the high court," he said.

The Punjab and Haryana HC set up the panel, comprising advocates Anil Malhotra, Utsav Singh Bains, Puneeta Sethi and Sudeepti Sharma, last week. It instructed the committee to visit all inmates of Apna Ghar and submit a report or suggestions. Bains had filed a public interest litigation in the case.

Sources said that the inmates were specifically asked whether police officers too had raped them. While some nodded, others started screaming and some burst into tears.

One of the inmates said Haryana Police officers would offer sweets laced with drugs before taking them out. One of the inmates, who reportedly broke down, disclosed that a hotel near the Rohtak bus stand was used by "customers" for raping them. "We used to return weeping and screaming in pain," one of the inmates revealed.

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