Unbearable harassment lead women inmates to escape from shelter home

Inmates escape from shelter home

'Task force' to trace escaped women

Maharashtra government has decided to set up a 'task force' comprising two officials each from police and women and child welfare departments to trace the women who escaped from a state-run shelter home.

State Women and Child Welfare Minister Varsha Gaikwad said the task force will be entrusted with the job of tracing the women and ensuring that they are sent back to their homes by completing the legal formalities.

Gaikwad said she has convened a meeting with Home department on Friday and will send her department officials to the Bangladeshi authorities in Delhi to discuss the process of transferring the women back to their country.

They will discuss the process of "transfer permit" for the women so that return to their country is expedited.

Following the report of the High Court committee which probed allegations of harassment of the inmates by the suburban Mankhurd-based Navjivan shelter home authorities, FIRs were registered against ten officials out of which two

and one other person have been suspended.

The High Court had appointed the committee to probe the allegations of harassment after 36 inmates had escaped earlier on October 27 and thirteen of them were caught.

Committee members Dr Haresh Shetty, Dr Asha Bajpai of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Deputy Police Commissioner Rashmi Karandikar had been asked by the High Court to look into the allegations of sexual assault on inmates.

Among those suspended were shelter home superintendent Ashwini Dighe, district women and child welfare development officer Anana Khandagale and ex-superintendent of the shelter home Neeru Sharma.

The FIRs were earlier filed against deputy commissioner of women and child welfare Ravi Patil, divisional deputy commissioner Bharat Pokharkar, acting superintendent of the shelter home Shobha Shelar, caretakers and other staff.

When asked about the women who escaped yesterday, Gaikwad said an FIR has been lodged in that connection.

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