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Tales of horror from observation home in Pune: ‘Officials ignored sexual assault complaints, forced boys to clean toilets and watch porn’

The authorities not only ignored complaints of sexual assault made by some of the minor boys, against other boys living at the same observation home, they encouraged the latter to continue to assault the victims.

Written by Chandan Haygunde | Pune | Updated: May 14, 2017 4:29:00 am
observation home, juvenile, Pune juvenile home, juveniles justice, Pune observation home, india rape, rape, minor rape, Pune orphanage, Pune minor, sexual assault, latest news, latest india news, indian express The case has been transferred to the Shivajinagar police station in Pune city for further investigation.

Minor residents of an observation home in the Pune city were forced to watch blue films in the “E-learning” hall by officials and staffers of the home, according to a complaint registered with the Pune city police. The complaint also lists other horrific details: it says the authorities not only ignored complaints of sexual assault made by some of the minor boys, against other boys living at the same observation home, they encouraged the latter to continue to assault the victims. As per the complaint, the observation home authorities also forced the minor boys to clean the toilets and drainage lines.

Vilas Pandare (42), secretary and manager of an orphanage, lodged a first information report (FIR) at the Ghodegaon police station in Pune rural on May 11. The case has been transferred to the Shivajinagar police station in Pune city for further investigation. Pandare claimed that he had earlier filed a complaint with the Women and Child Welfare Department in October 2016, but after the government took no action, he decided to file an FIR.

Police have booked the then supervisor of the home, its staff and some juveniles under sections 377, 323, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act and sections of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015. Speaking to The Indian Express, Pandare said, “…As per the orders of the child welfare committee, Pune, in 2015, 27 minor boys were admitted to our orphanage. Of these, 14 boys came from the observation home. In a couple of months, we observed that the behaviour of these 14 boys was odd. So, I spoke to each of these boys separately, in an informal manner, like during a morning walk or while having a friendly chat with them. The information shared by the boys was shocking”.

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“They told me how some boys at the observation home had unnatural sex with them. They told me how the authorities and staffers at the observation home ignored their complaints about the sexual assault… instead, they forced the boys to watch blue films… and also forced them to clean toilets and drainage lines. They said the staffers at the home made them clean their gutkha spittle, and threatened and beat them up. They told me how the staffers at the observation home held gambling sessions and liquor parties…Two of these boys, who are brothers, are physically challenged…another boy had sustained an injury on his right hand… but due to lack of proper treatment, his forearm was amputated,” said Pandare.

“I was shocked to learn these horrifying tales… on October 14, 2016, I wrote an eight-page complaint letter to the authorities of the Women and Child Welfare Department. But over six months went by and none of the officials took my complaint seriously. So, I filed a police complaint that stated the names of the authorities, staffers and the boys,” said Pandare. Police are probing the complaint. A woman official, Sub-inspector S S Patil is investigating the case. “We cannot say anything at this point…” Police are speaking to the victims and questioning the observation home officials.

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