Runaway girl found pregnant after being 'repeatedly raped'
The girl was rescued from the station by NGO Railway Childline on November 3, following which she was admitted to a local hospital.
The minor reportedly told the Government Railway Police (GRP) that at least four people had raped her repeatedly near the railway station. The GRP registered a case on Tuesday after a one-stop crisis centre for women, 'Gauravi', filed a complaint.
Giving details of the case, Superintendent of Police, Bhopal Railway Division, Ruchi Vardhan Mishra, said, "A rape victim, aged around 12 years, was found pregnant and stranded at Bhopal railway station on November 3. We registered a case in this connection yesterday based on a complaint filed by the crisis centre 'Gauravi'."
"The girl was admitted to Sultania Lady Hospital and her condition is stable. We have registered a case against unidentified persons under IPC section 376 (rape) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
"The girl said she can identify the accused, who may be more than one in number. They used to rape her in an isolated and deserted structure near Bhopal railway station. We have started a search and the accused will be arrested soon," Mishra said.
She said that the accused were likely to be residents of the area surrounding Bhopal railway station.
"The victim told us that she used to stay with her parents in a shanty near Jabalpur railway station. A few months ago, she sat in a train alone and reached Bhopal. Since then, she has been begging at the railway station," Mishra added.
'Gauravi' crisis centre in-charge, Sarika Sinha, who is also the regional manager of ActionAid, said a member of Railway Childline brought the girl to them at around 6 pm on November 3, but took her back four hours later.
She claimed that the girl told the Government Railway Police (GRP) that at least four people had sexually assaulted her.
"The girl was scared. She felt uneasy and restless when she was brought to our centre. The girl's medical examination was already conducted when she was brought to us and it was found that she was four months' pregnant. So, we did not conduct any further medical examination," Sinha added.
According to her, the GRP filed the FIR against the accused on the complaint application given by 'Gauravi'. However, there are allegations that the crisis centre did not provide shelter to the girl.
Madhya Pradesh Minister for Woman and Child Development Archana Chitnis, who visited Sultania Lady Hospital last evening to meet the girl, ordered an inquiry into the allegations that 'Gauravi' and other agencies did not provide timely and proper help to the girl.
Talking about it, Sinha said, "It is being alleged that the crisis centre did not provide shelter to her. We helped the girl in every manner, provided shelter to her for four hours, legal assistance and filed the police complaint. She was given counselling and we also offered food to her. This (Gauravi) is a counselling-and-assistance centre, and not a shelter."
After meeting the girl, the minister also announced that the state government would bear all expenses on the treatment of the girl, besides taking care of her education.