Free Press Journal

Bhopal hostel rape: 2 more cases against director


Bhopal: Two more deaf and mute tribal girls have filed a complaint against a city hostel director, who is currently under arrest in a rape case, for molesting them last year, police said. Ashwini Sharma, director of a hostel for deaf and mute persons in Awadhpuri area, was arrested on Wednesday based on the complaint by an inmate who alleged that the accused had raped her during her stay at the hostel over the past three years. Two more girls filed a fresh case against the accused at the Hira Nagar police station in Ujjain. The incident happened when the sisters stayed at Sharma’s house-cum-hostel last year while they were pursuing a course at an institute.

                He added that since one of the complainants was a minor, when Sharma allegedly molested her in Bhopal in 2017, provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act were also invoked against the accused.

                The Bhopal Police today formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case while the state government announced that a monthly inspection would be carried out at women’s hostels in the state.

                Inspector General of Police (Bhopal) Jaydeep Prasad told PTI that the SIT would comprise Rahul Lodha, Superintendent of Police, Bhopal City South, along with Additional SPs Rashmi Mishra and Dinesh Kaushal, City Superintendent of Police (CSP) Virendra Mishra and Awadhpuri Inspector ML Bhati.

                Prasad said preliminary investigations had revealed that Sharma was a “lone wolf” in the case, adding that he had “personally inspected the hostel”.

                Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan issued directions to his officials to take steps to ensure that such incidents did not occur again.

                “I have held a meeting with officials and directed them to conduct monthly inspections of such (state) aided and unaided facilities where girls are residing,” he told reporters at his residence in this morning.

                “The inspection will be carried out by the collector and the superintendent of police in each district on a monthly basis,” he said.

                Calling such incidents painful, Chouhan said similar rules would also be framed for private hostels.

                Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath today shot off a letter to Chouhan seeking a probe into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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