Odisha News Insight

Shelter Home Sexual Harassment: BJP Mahila Morcha goes Aggressive

ONI Bureau: While the sexual harassment scandal at Dream Centre Shelter Home at Beltikri in Dhenkanal District, shocked the entire state, the BJP Mahila Morcha has adopted an aggressive approach to put the government on back foot on this issue. The Government has already swung into action yesterday by sealing the Shelter Home.

The shelter home run by an NGO, ‘Good News India’ was sealed in the presence of the local Tehsildar and District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) last night. The BJP Mahila Morcha’s fact-finding team visited the shelter home today and even held a dharna outside the District Collector’s office after being denied permission to meet the inmates who were sexually abused by the employer and officials of the shelter home.

The Police has already arrested Dream Centre Shelter Home Project Director Simanchal Naik, Assistant Director Udit Lima and Managing Director Fayaz Rehman. Three teams formed to probe the matter while the inmates are also being quizzed at an unidentified location. Nobody is having access to the inmates.

BJP Mahila Morcha President Prabhati Parida accused the Government of trying to suppress the truth. BJP’s State Secretary Lekhashri Samantasinghar alleged that Women & Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal was aware of the illegal shelter homes in Odisha, but did not take any action.

The WCD Minister has clarified that Good News India runs 22 illegal shelter homes in Odisha and all will be raided in phases. He also revealed that an amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act will be done soon. He assured strong action against all accused.

Meanwhile, Government teams are raiding the shelter homes run by Good News India in various districts including Ganjam and Gajapati. BJD Spokesperson Dr. Sasmit Patra has issued a press statement saying as soon as the news broke out, the Government has taken quick action by sealing the shelter home and arresting the accused. “The Government is also trying to rehabilitate the inmates. However, the BJP is politicising such a sensitive issue, which is condemnable. The party should refrain from playing with the future of Innocent kids”, he said.

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