Odisha gets NHRC notices on rape of minor girls

Bhubaneswar, April 10 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday issued a notice to authorities in Odisha over the alleged rape and molestation of four minor girls in an orphanage last month in the state, an official said Wednesday.

Acting on a media report, the NHRC has asked the collector and superintendent of police of Sambalpur district to submit reports on the incident within four weeks, a commission official said.

The commission observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of inmates of the orphanage.

Citing the media report, the NHRC said that two minor girls were raped and two others were molested by the owner of an orphanage on the outskirts of the district headquarters town of Sambalpur, 320 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

According to a local police officer, the accused is 40 years old. He had allegedly abused and raped two minor girls twice and molested two others in an orphanage at Naxapali on the outskirts of Sambalpur town in March.

The orphanage, set up by the accused’s wife two-and-half years ago, housed 16 girls and four boys. It was running on charity without any approval from the state welfare department, a police officer said.

The victims are in the age group of one to 12 years. Police had raided the orphanage and arrested the alleged attacker April 2 night on the basis of a complaint lodged by a local lady doctor, the officer said.

Medical examinations of the victims confirmed sexual assault. The arrested man has been sent to judicial custody.

The administration also closed down the orphanage and shifted the inmates to other orphanages. A search is on to nab the wife of the attacker.

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