Junior girls in Muslim Orphanage, the state’s biggest orphanage run by the Waqf Board, have been found to be sexually abused by their seniors under the patronage of some of the orphanage staffers. This shocking revelation has been made following visit by a team, led by State Minority Commission (SMC) chairman Anwar Manippady and members of the commission and Women & Child Welfare Department (WCWD), which inspected the orphanage located near Commercial Street on December 31.
“Several junior inmates of the orphanage confirmed that they were not only sexually harassed by their seniors but were also forced to witness homosexual acts. Instances of senior girls torturing and beating their juniors if their demands were not met, too, came to light,” Manippady has stated in a report submitted to chief secretary SV Ranganath.
“It’s a gross violation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2001, and the shocking part is that some members of the institution (the orphanage) are also involved in the immoral activities,” Manippady has said. “Upon verification we found that the manager, identified as Ashraf, is a habitual offender and has also been harassing an ex-inmate of the orphanage regularly.”
The commission’s report seeks action against the guilty. it has recommended the termination of service of the entire existing staff of the orphanage, and the filing of criminal charges against them for allowing the junior girls to be sexually exploited.
The SMC has also demanded that the government hand over the administration of the orphanage to the WCWD.
The inspection team also found large-scale misappropriation of funds allocated for the running of the orphanage, Manippady told DNA.
SMC and WCWD members conducted the inspection of the orphanage after receiving a series of complaints. The commission had then submitted several representations to the Waqf Board, seeking immediate action against the guilty and to put a stop to the sexual abuse of the junior girls at the orphanage.
“After waiting for four months we decided to take up the issue again and visited the orphanage to conduct an inspection,” Manippady said.
But Waqf Board chairman Riyaz Khan rubbished SMC’s report, saying the inspection was done to tarnish the image of the board and its members. “It’s all being done since the commission members have not been elected in the board,” he said.
Khan said the Waqf Board had sacked a warden for misbehaviour and an accountant for forging and misappropriating funds. He said the duo had been hand in glove with the SMC to tarnish the image of the institution.