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NGO chairman arrested for harassing shelter home girls

Author: Prafulla Samal
Publication: The Hindu
Date: December 3, 2018
URL:      https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ngo-chairman-arrested-for-harassing-shelter-home-girls/article25650463.ece/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Shelter home incharge Simanchal Nayak held on the same charge: police

Founder and chairman of Good News India Faiz Rahman was on Sunday arrested on charges of sexually harassing minor girls in a shelter home run by his organisation near district headquarter town of Dhenkanal in Odisha.

Mr. Rahman’s arrest came a day after Simanchal Nayak, incharge of the shelter home, was taken into custody. There were similar allegations against Mr. Nayak.

Two FIRs

“We have arrested chairman of GNI after some girls of the shelter home levelled sexual harassment allegations. Arrests were made on basis of two separate FIRs lodged by the District Child Protection Officer and Chairman of Child Welfare Committee,” said Dhenkanal Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Nayak.

Home sealed

Dhenkanal district administration has sealed Dream Centre, the shelter home, after evacuating inmates on Saturday night. The process of sealing the rooms by the Child Welfare Committee, a quasi-judiciary body, ended on Sunday morning.

Inmates were shifted to two nearby child care institutions.

Meanwhile, a team of the women wing of the State BJP visited the shelter home on a fact-finding mission. By the time they reached the shelter home, its premised had already been sealed. They met Dhenkanal Collector and insisted on meeting the girls. But they were not allowed to do so.

‘Illegal homes’

“The crime has taken place under the nose of the Naveen Patnaik government. It is baffling as to how the administration could not get to know about opening of so many illegal shelter homes by GNI,” said Pravati Parida, president of State BJP Mahila Morcha.

‘No permission’

The government has already made it clear that it had not given any permission to the GNI for the shelter home. “Stringent action would be taken against organisations involved in nefarious activities by opening such shelter homes across the State,” said Prafulla Samal, State Women and Child Development Minister.

The GNI has over 20 shelter homes in different districts of the State. There were reports of raids on one such home at Paralakhemundi, the district headquarter town of Gajapati.
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