Close on the heels of the Muzaffarpur rape incident, a 23-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in a short-stay home at Chapra in Bihar's Saran district.
The police swung into action and arrested two persons. The accused have been identified as Kumari Saroj and Swaroop Pandit.
Saroj was a training and rehabilitation officer, while Swaroop was the watchman of the short-stay home 'Nari Utthan Kendra', run by the Mahila Vikas Nigam. Another accused, Randhir Singh, who runs the NGO which looks after the short-stay home, is absconding.
"Those who were arrested have been booked under Section 376 (rape), Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), Section 315 (act done with an intent to prevent a child being born alive) and 120 B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code," said Madhubala, project manager-cum-protection officer, Women’s Helpline, while speaking to DH.
Altogether, 26 women from different backgrounds were staying at the short-stay home. These shelter homes are run by the social welfare department through NGOs.
About a fortnight back, one of the women, suspected to have been sexually assaulted, was asked to undergo a medical test after the district child welfare unit officials received complaints of sexual abuse; she tested positive.
Later, the victim reportedly told the investigating officials that she was forced to undergo abortion.
"During the medical test, the girl was found pregnant. However, I have no knowledge about the abortion incident," said Madhubala.
The sexual assault would have remained unnoticed had not another woman inmate resisted rape attempts by the suspects. It was on the basis of her complaint that an FIR was lodged at the Chapra police station.
Saran District Magistrate Subrat Kumar Sen has since then blacklisted the NGO and sealed the shelter home. "All the 26 women living at the shelter home have been shifted to Siwan," the official said.