Berhampur, January 8 (Localwire): The police on Tuesday announced that they have located and rescued seven of the 13 girls who had fled from the government-run childcare home Utkal Balashram on Monday night.
“Search is on to rescue other six girls and we expect to bring them back to the home by this evening,” an officer stated.
The girls aged between 12 to 16, most of them the rape survivors, had escaped by jumping the wall from the backside of the institute, while the guards were stationed at the front gate.
A preliminary inquiry has revealed that they ran away from the home due to an internal quarrel between the inmates, the offices said.
As many as 50 inmates were housed in the Balashram and most of the inmates are rape survivors, and children in need of parents (CNP) after they were rescued from trafficking, workplaces and found abandoned.
Meanwhile, the district collector Vikay Amruta Kulange suspended three employees of the childcare home for negligence in duty leading to the incident.
The suspended employees include a security guard, watcher, and home-mother, sources said.
“We have recorded the statement of girls who ran away and they said they went on her own and no one had instigated them to flee,” another officer stated.
Though the authorities are yet to ascertain the exact cause that forced the 13 girls to run away from the childcare home, sources said there was a conflict between two groups of inmates during the last few days.
According to district child protection officer Subodh Kant Sarangi, the inmates were being counseled for the last three to four days.
Besides, Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) chairperson and a member of the district child welfare committee (CWC) Sandhyabati Pradhan had also visited the Balashram during the last four days and held discussed with the inmates.
“They, however, did not tell anything about their problem,” the DCPO stated.