The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a notice to the Madhya Pradesh government over reports that girls at a shelter-home in Ratlam were allegedly sexually exploited, assaulted and manhandled. The NHRC, in a statement, said it is "painful" to know that persons, who are supposed to protect the girl inmates, are accused of subjecting them to indignity in their custody.
"The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report alleging that girls at a shelter-home, Kundan Kuteer Balika Grah at Jaora town in Ratlam district, were being sexually exploited, assaulted and manhandled," the commission said.
Five inmates of the shelter-home had escaped on January 24 by breaking the window of the toilet and were later traced in Mandsaur. Police have held three persons, including a couple, in this connection, it said.
Reportedly, efforts are being made to arrest the current head of the shelter-home, who is also an accused in the case.
The commission has issued a notice to the chief, seeking a detailed report in four weeks, including on the action taken against the culprits, steps taken for relief and rehabilitation or counselling of the victims. The response is expected within four weeks.
"It has also expressed serious concern over the rising incidents of sexual exploitation of the girls at shelter-homes, which are meant to provide protection, relief and succour to them," the commission said.