Gauhati High Court takes suo moto cognisance in Sivasagar ‘rape’ case

Gauhati High Court takes suo moto cognisance in Sivasagar ‘rape’ case

Saumya Mishra | January 12, 2019 15:38 hrs

Gauhati High Court recently took suo moto cognisance of the alleged rape case which was reported in a children’s home in Sivasagar.
In a recent case in Sivasagar, a minor girl inmate at a private children’s shelter home was allegedly repeatedly raped by the superintendent of the home for several months.

The matter first came to light when the victim along with two other girls fled Swapnalaya Children’s Home on September 3 and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Sivasagar received information regarding the same.

According to sources, the FIR was earlier filed in the case back in September. However, the police had failed to take any action in the case. 
City-based child rights activist and founder of child rights NGO Utsah, Miguel Das Queah, informed G Plus that the girl had written him a postal letter relating her plight, which is how he came to know about the girl’s ordeal.

“The details of the case are horrific. The superintendent of the children’s home used to drug them by slipping pills into their drinks and then rape them every day,” said Queah.       
In her statement given to the CWC, the 14-year-old girl has stated that she along with other female inmates of the shelter home were subject to sexual, mental as well as physical abuse by the superintendent of the home, Parag Goswami. 
A highly place source informed G Plus that the Gauhati High Court has taken a suo moto cognisance in the case.
A similar case was reported in Guwahati in August at the SOS Children’s Village where the assistant village director of the NGO SOS Children’s Village Guwahati was arrested by the police for allegedly sexually assaulting three minor girls. 
With such incidents coming to light in the past few months, serious questions are being raised about the security and audit of children’s homes in the city as well as the state.    
Following these incidents, child protection experts have called for better security and auditing in all children’s homes and shelter homes.
Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) has also taken suo moto cognisance in the matter. However, some child protection experts have also alleged that the ASCPCR has failed in its duty to take action for the protection of child rights in the state. 
Queah has submitted a memorandum to the chief minister in connection with the case and has appealed to him to take immediate measures. 
He has asked the CM to ensure closure of the Swapnalaya Children’s Home and the immediate transfer of the children to a safe child care institution (CCI). Further, he has demanded arrest of Parag Gowami and all his accomplices including the housemother Gita Kakati. Queah has also appealed the CM to expedite social audit of all CCIs in Assam.

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