Predators target orphans in Bijapur

Predators target orphans in Bijapur

Four girls from a district orphanage in the town, aged between 12 and 13, were allegedly molested by two men on Friday night when they were returning to the orphanage centre after partaking of a charity dinner hosted by a group of Ayyappa devotees.


Sources said that the residents (15 girls and 13 boys) of the orphanage had dinner around 9 pm.

When they were returning in a van, two men, identified by the girls as Somu and Gowdappa Mariswamy, allegedly made the four girls sit in their lap, stripped them of their upper garments and abused them sexually. When they reached the orphanage, the girls complained to the orphanage authorities about the incident.


D Vasantprema, the deputy director of the department of women and child development, is said to have conducted an inquiry into the allegations on Saturday morning.

Two of the four girls were believed to have stood by their complaint, while the other two were said to have retracted, ostensibly under pressure.

Vasudev Tolbandi, president of the district child welfare committee, told Deccan Herald that the victims called him over the phone and requested him to visit them.

When Tolbandi and committee member Lalita Shettar visited the orphanage around 10 pm on Friday, the girls told them that they were sexually abused by Somu and Mariswamy.

Tolbandi said he has convened an emergency meeting of the child welfare committee to discuss the issue. But Vasantprema and the police officials concerned stayed away, forcing postponement of the meeting.

Superintendent of Police D C Rajappa said the police had received no complaint from either the orphanage management or the department concerned about the incident. He said he would take up the issue if a complaint was registered and an FIR was filed.

The incident raised many questions: Why were the girls sent out for a charity dinner; what safety measures were ensured while sending them out and whether a woman warden accompanied them.

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