Rourkela, Aug. 19: The district administration today arrested the manager of an orphanage at Basanti Colony on Malgodown Road here on charges of sexual abuse of its inmates.
Of the 90 inmates, 10 teenaged girls have accused Deepak Bal, manager of the Sarbabhowmik Sishu Ananta Ashram, of sexual exploitation. The administration has sealed the orphanage.
Sub-divisional police officer S. Sethi said Deepak was booked under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.
Sethi said the girl had been subjected to medical examination and her allegation was found to be true. Other girls are also being medically examined.
“During our inspection, we heard the incidents of sexual exploitation from one of the inmates,” said Babita Mohapatra, chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, the nodal agency in the district for supervision of the orphanages.
“The girl voluntarily bared all that was happening with her and her friends. So far, 10 girls have corroborated the allegation about sexual harassment by Deepak,” said Babita.
“The girl said Deepak was sexually exploiting her on the promise that he would marry her,” she said.
The orphanage has been running at Basanti Colony since 1970. On receiving some complaints, district collector Rupa Roshan Sahu had recently instructed the committee to visit the orphanage. The inspection was conducted in the presence of the sub-collector and the additional superintendent of police.
“When we checked the register, we found 90 names, while 70 were present on the premises. Ten girls, aged between 16 and 22, who have made the allegations, will be shifted to safer places, and at present, they are with the Childline,” said Babita.
All the inmates were being shifted to other institutions in the district, said sub-collector Shyamabhakta Mishra, who was present during the inspection. They would be photographed and their records would be maintained before shifting, he said.