Unbearable harassment lead women inmates to escape from shelter home

Inmates escape from shelter home

Soon after police filed FIR on orders of Bombay High Court against the Superintendent and caretaker of a state-run women shelter home in suburban Mankhurd for allegedly harassing inmates, eight women have escaped from there even as efforts are on to trace them.

The women of Navjivan Mahila Sudhar Griha broke the bathroom window grill, scaled the compound wall and escaped yesterday, police said.

Altogether nine women had tried to escape, of which eight succeeded in running away. The ninth fell down and injured herself, they said.

Govandi police have registered a case and are on a look out for the inmates who escaped. Wireless messages have been sent to all police stations in the city and nearby cities and districts to trace them.

On November 30, the High Court had asked police to register FIR against the top staff of the shelter home after a court-appointed three-member committee had indicted them of harassing the inmates.

The court had also ordered police to shift some of the women inmates to other Ashram immediately following which the FIR was registered on December 1.

The court had appointed the committee to probe the allegations of harassment after 36 inmates had escaped earlier on October 27, and 13 of them were caught.

The members of the committee 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 allegations of sexual assault on inmates.

The court had even expressed shock over the apathy of the government towards the conditions prevailing in the home.

Most of the women are victims of human trafficking who have been rescued by the police and put up in the shelter home. Some of the women had even got permission to go home but were still at the shelter home in view of shortage of escort police personnel, sources said.

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