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Head of MP women’s hostel arrested for allegedly raping 20-year-old

The head of a hostel for speech and hearing impaired women has been arrested from Bhopal for allegedly raping a 20-year-old tribal woman and sexually harassing two others at the shelter, police said.

Ashwini Sharma, the hostel director, was arrested after the three alleged he took them home about eight months ago and raped one of them besides sexually harassing the other two. He then allegedly raped the 20-year-old woman several times.

“On the women’s complaint, Ashwini Sharma was arrested last (Wednesday) night,” deputy inspector general of police Dharmendra Choudhary said.

Gyanendra Purohit, a social worker, said Sharma, who is separated from his wife, also forced the women to do his household chores. “The women came to us a week ago in Indore. They shared their ordeal with us. We informed Dhar and Bhopal police and Bhopal police registered their statements on Wednesday.”

Inspector general, intelligence, Makrand Deoskar told reporters that the police would conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and record statements of other women living in the hostel. Police said Sharma runs two hostels.

Congress media in-charge Shobha Oza demanded a social audit of such hostels as most of them are government funded.

She said the abuse at the Bhopal hostel was similar to the cases reported from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria. “It is shocking that deaf and mute girls are not safe in the hostels.”

The women had been living at the government-aided hostel while undergoing training at a Bhopal institute.

In Bihar, the Balika Grih meant to give shelter to minor girls abandoned by their families has been shut after news came out that 34 of the 46 girls living there were being raped by a network of men including the owner of the NGO that ran the short-stay home and government officers in charge of their welfare.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 23:08 IST

Source: HindustanTimes