Horrifying details emerge as an investigation into the sexual abuse case of two minor girls at a state government-approved NGO, Mother Teresa Welfare Trust (MTWT) in Jharkhand gains pace.
As per a Hindustan Times report, the police have informed that other girls, apart from the two victims who have spoken up were subjected to sexual abuse for over four years and they are expanding the scope of the investigation.
Minor girls abused and tortured at the shelter home
The terrifying incident came to light when the two victims went missing and were later traced by the police.
On tracking the cellphones of the girls, they were found at a house in Birsanagar the following day.
During the interrogation, the girls revealed they decided to flee from the shelter home to avoid the continuous torture and sexual assault by the caretakers of the shelter.
The minors studied at a nearby all girls’ school but were sent to the institution after the school shut during the lockdown.
Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police Dr M Tamil Vanan informed that two minor girls, aged 16 and 17, have given video-recorded statements in which they reiterated all the charges made in their statements to the special POCSO court.
The girls revealed that they were physically and mentally tortured at the home shelter. They were even forced to give in to the sexual demands of the perpetrators.
The accused Harpal Singh Thapar, director of the NGO, his wife Pushpa Rani Tirkey, who is also the chairperson of East Singhbhum district child welfare committee (CWC), warden Geeta Singh, her son Aditya Singh, and another staff member Tony Singh are on the run.
As per the report, Thapar and other men assaulted the minors, while Tirkey used to beat them up.
An FIR under relevant sections of the POCSO Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code has been lodged on the complaint of two rescued girls by the police on Tuesday.
Apart from being sexually and physically abused, the girls were also made to do menial tasks
Dr Vanan revealing the horrifying details informed, “Investigation has found that Thapar allegedly had physical relations with the 19-year-old daughter of the warden, and he, along with others, used to sexually abuse and exploit the victims on a regular basis.”
Despite the girls complaining repeatedly to Tirkey, the CWC chief for the past four years, no action was taken by her against the perpetrators, informed the SSP.
Meanwhile, the police is awaiting medical reports of the two rescued girls to determine if they were raped.
The Trust made headlines earlier this week after a video of the girls made to do menial jobs, including working in a garbage dump, went viral on social media. This forced the district administration to take cognizance of the issue which led to the formation of a four-member team to investigate the matter further.
Death of a three-and-a-half-year-old also being investigated
Additionally, the police is also investigating the death of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl who died in the home 25 days ago due to a brain tumor.
In a report to the Jamshedpur deputy commissioner, SSP Dr Vanan stated, “This little girl was the daughter of a rape survivor who didn’t want to keep her. Thapar and his wife didn’t inform the police or the district administration about the death, which they were legally bound to.”
About the Mother Teresa Welfare Trust
The Jharkhand government-approved NGO allegedly has no links with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
Located at Shamsher Tower in Kharangajhar, the shelter home has three floors with 23 girls living in two rooms on the second floor. The warden lived in another room on the same floor with her daughter and son. Thapar and Tirkey also resided in the same building occupying the first floor, while 22 boys lived on the ground floor.
The girls are now being rehabilitated with twenty-one of them being taken care of by the Seraikela-Kharsawan CWC as of now.
Government funds into personal accounts
Allegedly, Thapar and Tirkey used to transfer government funds and private donations into their personal accounts which is also being probed.
“The girls told us that they took away the money donated to them by many people for clothing, food and other items. All the five named accused will be arrested soon as different teams are raiding possible hideouts,” informed SSP Dr Vanan.