Om Prakash Singh (right) at Premashraya in Ranchi on Monday. (Prashant Mitra)
A team of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Ranchi district on Monday visited Premashraya, a shelter home for minor girls, on the directive of Jharkhand High Court, which has taken a suo motu cognisance of the incident of a Bangladeshi girl going missing from the home.
Taking a serious note of the report — “Blame game over missing Bangla girl” — published in The Telegraph on January 7, the high court has sought a detailed report from the committee in a week, asking it to explain conditions under which the girl disappeared on December 16 last year.
The girl, hailing from Barisal district of Bangladesh, was rescued by the railway police from Hatia station on December 2. Later, she was shifted to the shelter home.
“We received the notice, attached with The Telegraph report, on Saturday. We visited the shelter home today and took stock of the situations. By Wednesday, we will submit the report to the high court,” CWC chairman Om Prakash Singh said.
Singh, who was accompanied by committee member Afjal Hussain and others, arrived at Premashraya on Station Road around 11am and assessed the security arrangements in place. Apart from inmates, they also held talks with Priyambada, the superintendent of the home, and Chetan Chandaran, the head of Jaan Foundation — an NGO — that runs the shelter.
Officers from Chutia police station also visited the place.
During the hour-long recce, the CWC officials found the security measures at the home to be inadequate. There was no guard at the time of the team’s visit.
“Security guards should be on duty round the clock. But, the lone guard here comes in the evening and leaves in the morning, after the nightlong sift,” said a CWC official on condition of anonymity.
According to the shelter officials, the girl fled the home on December 16 morning and took away Rs 6,000 cash and some documents that she stole from the shelter home.
The CWC members claimed that there was a delay in lodging the FIR too even as the home and police were shifting blame on each other.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Priyambada said after the girl went missing, they had circulated her photographs. “On December 19, we had received a call from an anonymous person who claimed to have seen the girl boarding a Hazaribagh-bound bus. We sent our members but could not find her. We reported the matter to the CID and local police,” she claimed.
While the police are still clueless about the whereabouts of the missing girl, fresh reports suggest that the victim was not a minor and had got married to one Miraj from Bangladesh some five years ago.