Rape, torture and sexual assault of minor deaf-dumb tribal children at shelter home in Chhattisgarh

In a horrific incident, cases of rape, torture and sexual assault of minor deaf-dumb tribal boys and girls were reported at a government-run shelter home in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh. The Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) has filed a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking immediate intervention.

 The shelter, a residential training centre for the specially-abled, is sponsored under District Mineral Funds for Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission. It has 46 ‘Divyang’ children, both girls and boys. All the deaf and mute minor girls belonged to the Adivasi (Tribal) community.

The horrible cases of rape, torture and other forms of sexual assault of the minor tribal girls have been reported by The Times of Indiain report titled “Minor deaf-mute girls chased naked, sexually assaulted in Chhattisgarh” dated 26 September 2021, available at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/raipur/deaf-mute-girl-raped-at-chhattisgarh-government-shelter/articleshow/86522299.cms. The report is attached for ready reference.

According to this report, the accused namely caretaker Rajesh Ram and watchman Narendra Bhagat stripped, beaten, chased naked and raped at least one of them (a 17 year old girl) on the night of 22 September 2021.The children narrated these incidents to the police through signs and gestures.

A woman caretaker, who tried to stop the savagery but was locked up by the two men, is a witness to the torture, as are the other inmates, who include boys and girls aged below 13.According to the police, Adivasi girls aged between 13 and 17 were preyed upon.

The children have been traumatized and being treated for their injuries. But the shelter superintendent Sanjay Ram allegedly tried to suppress the matter.

As per the Times of India report, the shelter home has been running in violation of government rules. The superintendent, Sanjay Ram, is a man, who handles this additional charge along with his teaching assignment in a school. Moreover, the staff at the centre is not trained in sign languages.

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