3 Women Accuse Chhattisgarh Shelter Home Staff of Physical, Mental Abuse

Three women, who were recently shifted out of a shelter home located in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district, have accused its staff of indulging in physical and mental abuse against the inmates. The operator of the shelter home, however, has denied the charges.

Police said they have taken cognizance of the matter and the women’s statements will be recorded in front of the magistrate here on Thursday. The allegations were made recently after a 20-year-old among the three women allegedly denied to leave the shelter home located in the Sarkanda police station area even as her husband had reached the place to take her back home.

“The 20-year-old woman had been shifted to Ujjawala Home, a government-aided shelter, on January 16 when she was found wandering nearby. She said she had left her home after a fight with her husband,” a police official here said. The next day, her husband reached the shelter home to take her back during which the staff of the facility asked him to show the proof that he is her spouse, following which he entered into a verbal spat with them, he said.

Later, the woman’s family lodged a case of wrongful confinement and obscene act against the shelter home staff. The operator of the shelter home also registered a case against her family on charges of house trespass and obscene acts, he said.

Meanwhile, two other women inmates, including a rape victim, also reached the police station alleging physical and sexual abuse of women at the shelter home, he said. However, when their statements were recorded by a woman police officer at the police station, they said they have heard of sexual assault being committed on women inmates, but denied being a victim of it following no case was registered in this regard, he said.

On Tuesday, the three women appeared before the media, with one of them saying that she was assaulted and touched inappropriately by the operator of the shelter home. They also alleged that women were drugged there.

The operator has denied the allegations. Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal said police have been investigating that matter.

The women’s statements will be recorded under section 164 of the CrPC on Thursday and further action will be taken accordingly, Agrawal said. Another government official said the shelter home has been shut and its inmates have been shifted to their homes and other government facilities.

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