Absconding shelter home director, warden, 2 others nabbed in Madhya Pradesh in sexual assault on minors case

RANCHI: The absconding shelter home director, warden and two others facing charges of sexual assault on minors were nabbed in Madhya Pradesh and brought to Jamshedpur on transit remand, a top police official said on Wednesday.

However, two minor girls out of 40 inmates of the Mother Teresa Welfare Trust (MTWT) who went missing in the course of shifting of children to another shelter home on Friday could not be traced so far.

“On a tip off to police, four accused of the case were arrested from Mada in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh and brought to Jamshedpur on transit remand. All the arrested accused would be produced before East Singhbhum Court, Jamshedpur,” Subhash Chandra Jat, City Superintendent of Police, Jamshedpur told PTI over phone.

Jat said those arrested are – director of the shelter home Harpal Singh, 46, his wife Pushpa Rani Tirkey, 45, warden Geeta Kaur, 45 and Aditya Singh, 20 all residents of Shamsher Tower, Khadangajhar under East Singhbhum district.

Tirkey, wife of Director, MTWT, was also chairperson of the East Singhbhum district child welfare committee (CWC).

Mother Teresa Welfare Trust was being run for the last 10 years at Kharangajhar in Jamshedpur, officials said.

A first information report (FIR) was lodged against all the arrested acused and one Tony David with the Telco Police Station, Jamshedpur on June 6 on the complaints of two of the minor girls of MTWT who had accused sexual assault and torture by the director and others for about four years.

The FIR was lodged under various sections of the POSCO Act and all the accused were on the run after the FIR, the City SP said.

The arrests were made by a police team, constituted by Senior Superintendent of Police, Jamshedpur, Dr Tamil Vanan under the leadership of City SP Jat.

Jat said investigations are on in the case from all angles including land and building.

An 11-member probe team, constituted by Deputy Commissioner, Jamshedpur, Suraj Kumar is also probing the matter.

Asked about the two minor girls who went missing last week in the course of transfer of children to another shelter home, the SP said all efforts are on to trace the girls.

The girls had gone missing on late Friday evening when 40 children were being moved to Bal Kalyan Aashram, Gobarghausi in Jamshedpur after complaints of sexual assault and torture over a four-year period, by two other minor tribal girls from the shelter home at MTWT.

The original complaint of sexual assault and harrasment had also been made by two tribal girls from the home after they were rounded up by the Jharkhand police on reports that they had gone missing from the now infamous shelter.

The MTWT is run by a local NGO, which has no connections with the Sisters of Charity, the organisation founded by St Teresa, who was known as Mother Teresa, before canonisation.

The District Social Welfare Officer, Satya Thakur had on Thursday said 40 children in the government registered MTWT, including 24 girls and 16 boys, all of whom are below 18 years barring a girl and a boy each of 20 years, will be shifted to Bal Kalyan home.

A Delhi Court had last year convicted 19 persons, including main accused Brajesh Thakur, in connection with sexual and physical assault of girls at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.