Six inmates of a shelter home in Shivpuri for girls, aged between 10 and 17, were allegedly raped over a long period by at least two persons, including a retired professor, police said on Friday. Their medical examination confirmed rape, they said. The shelter home was being operated by NGO Shakuntala Parmarth Samiti, which is run by advocate Shaila Agarwal. While Shaila has been arrested, the police are looking for her father K N Agarwal, who retired in 1997 as a professor, her brother Raju, who is reportedly mentally unstable, and a 20-year-old employee, Atul.
The shelter home with 24 inmates, including a seven-year-old boy, operated from a two-storey building with the Agarwals occupying the ground floor. Some inmates alleged that they were also molested. Investigating Officer Aradhana Davis said a 10-year-old mentally challenged girl was among the victims of sexual abuse.
Statements of the rape victims were recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC on Friday after their medical examination. The abuse came to light when two girls, who managed to escape, were caught in a neighbouring district a few days ago. After speaking to other victims, officials of the Women and Child Welfare Development Department got an FIR filed against Shaila and her father under various sections of the IPC and POCSO.
Davis said the inmates were made to bathe and change the clothes of Raju, in his 30s, besides being forced to do other chores. She said some victims are orphans and could not recall when exactly their abuse began as they have lived there for years. The police have reportedly sent a team to Allahabad to arrest the accused. The police said Shaila was well-connected with local influential people.
The registration of the NGO that received government grant has been cancelled and the inmates have been temporarily shifted to a government hostel. They will be eventually shifted to another district.