Four employees of a Nashik orphanage have been arrested under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and remanded in custody after six inmates wrote letters alleging harassment.
The arrested include superintendent Bhau Thorat (35) and caretakers Santosh Thorat (34) and Harshad Patil (34).
An official privy to the matter said the child welfare committee conducted a priliminary probe and handed over the case to the zilla mahila bal vikas adhikari,who recorded statements of the girls.
They were told to write what they face in the orphanage,no pressure was applied. Almost all said they were pinched by male members and forced to bathe with doors open. They also alleged the caretakers touched their private parts, the official said.
All 34 inmates were subjected to medical tests at Nashik Civil Hospital Monday and shifted to a shelter home. The official said no wounds were found on their bodies to suggest sexual assault.
Women officers at the local Panchvati police station have begun taking statements of the girls. While all the girls have been interviewed by CWC,police are yet to record formal statements. Some of the girls are undergoing examinations and are not in a state to give statements.
The six girls claimed the mental torture continued for days. They said the men would stare at them as they bathed. The girls told CWC volunteers the caretakers would pinch and punish them every day.
The accused have denied the allegations.