Minor Sexually Abused at Orphanage in Kumpala- 52-year-old Caretaker Arrested
Mangaluru: Addressing media persons during a press meet, Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar said, “A 52-year-old caretaker of an orphanage at Kumpala has been arrested on Tuesday 6 April 6, on charges of physical and sexual abuse of a minor. The arrested person Ayub hails from Konaje. On March 28, the police department, in association with Child Welfare Committee, and KS Hegde Hospital Child Welfare officer, had organized an awareness programme at TMA Pai Hall, Mangaluru, where nearly 500 inmates of child care centres and orphanages within Mangaluru city police commissionerate took part”.
He further said, “The programme was to create awareness on the Rights of Child, and Assessment in order to find out whether any child faced any kind of abuse, and in that case, conduct counselling for the children. During that programme, we came to know that a 14-year-old boy was undergoing sexual and physical abuse at Noorani Yatheem Khana Darul Masakeen Kumpala. In the beginning, the child narrated that he encountered some problems, but later during the second round of counselling, we found out the real issue. Twenty such instances in six institutions came to light and a probe is in process”.
“From this Kumpala orphanage four such instances have been reported and the children have been rescued and shifted to safe locations. It should be noted that the programme which was conducted was completely confidential, as the caretaker was not informed what the programme was all about. The programme was projected on bringing awareness on Covid. A case has been registered in the Women police station under POCSO,” added Police Commissioner.
Violence against children is widespread and remains an unfortunate reality for millions of children from all socio-economic groups in India. Both girls and boys in India face early marriage, domestic abuse, sexual violence, violence at home and in school, trafficking, online violence, child labour and bullying. All forms of violence, abuse and exploitation have long-lasting consequences on children’s lives. Slowly India is becoming increasingly aware of violence against children, especially sexual abuse. Sources reveal that even though the POSCO Act has been framed keeping in mind most major issues concerning abuse against children, it still has some pitfalls holding it back and creating implementation problems in the country. One major challenge for the effective implementation of the POSCO Act is the failure to set up Speed Trial Courts to deal with Child Sexual Abuse in all the districts of the country.
In conclusion, as per sources, Child Sexual Abuse is a bane of Indian society and hence the Act was introduced in 2012. However, no law can be implemented effectively and efficiently, without the dedicated and coordinated efforts of the investigating and implementing agencies. A multilateral approach is required in this regard, and the onus lies with the state governments, police department, judicial system, and medical fraternity to implement the act with urgency and to approach these cases with urgency, empathy, and compassion. Speedy trials are possible only if the judges, their staff, prosecution, police, and defence coordinate with each other, failing which concept of special courts will be defeated.
Further, doctors need to be trained to understand the intricacies and help in the proper scientific collection of various shreds of evidence while examining the child victim of sexual abuse. In recent years, there is an increase in the number of cases being reported and the same is due to the awareness which was able to be created through various awareness programs along with NGOs and Friends of the Police. To improve the rate of conviction, it is important to boost up both investigation and trial in court so that the survivor is not put under pressure to turn hostile.