The Delhi government on Monday ordered the concerned district magistrate to take over a private shelter home for girls in Dwarka where the inmates were allegedly abused by its staff.
The abuse came to light after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) conducted an inspection at the shelter home and some girls complained that the female staff put chilli powder in their private parts as punishment. The girls also claimed that they were also forced to have chilli powder.
Following the allegations, an FIR was registered in the matter and four shelter home staff members were arrested.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has directed the concerned district magistrate to take over the shelter home, an official statement said.
He also directed to ensure that the present staff is removed and new staff is appointed in the home, it said. He also ordered that care and protection of all girls is ensured and that they are not separated, the statement added.
The deputy chief minister noted that the developments regarding the abuse of minor girls in this shelter home are “extremely saddening”.
“It is the primary responsibility of the agencies specified under Section 30 of the JJ (Juvenile Justice) Act to ensure the care and protection of all children residing in shelter homes in their jurisdiction and this case is an example of gross failure of this responsibility. In view of the note submitted by the Chairperson, DCW it is directed that action be taken immediately,” Sisodia said.
His directions follow a DCW communication which stated that the commission’s expert committee conducted a social audit of the home and was deeply disturbed by its condition.
“The expert committee was appalled at the forms of punishment meted out to young children and teenage girls in the home. The older girls complained that any sort of defiant behaviour of the children would be met with serious and grave punishment because of which the girls had become submissive. Some girls mentioned that the home staff used to apply chilli powder in their private parts as forms of punishment,” the DCW report had said.
Other forms of punishment included beating with scales for not keeping the rooms clean and for not listening to the staff. The girls were not permitted to go home during summer and winter vacations. This abuse had been going on for several months, it noted.