Madhya Pradesh: Shelter home director booked for rape of deaf-mute inmates

Bhopal: Right on the heels of horror tales at a hostel in Bhopal, another sordid saga of sexual abuse of hearing and speech impaired inmates and possible murders of three of them in a shelter home in the city, was revealed on Friday.

The inmates went to TT Nagar Police station with their complaint. Late in the night on Thursday, an FIR was registered against the director and he was arrested,.

Five inmates, including three males and two females, reached the directorate of social justice department with a complaint of long-term sexual abuse by the director/owner of the home, MP Awasthi, who has been detained by police.

The deaf and mute inmates through an interpreter also alleged that three inmates have died in the shelter home due to physical harm caused by Awasthi, who runs Sai Handicapped Ashrams at Bairagarh in Bhopal, which is aided by the social justice department. The accused, an ex-army man, ran a shelter home in Hoshangabad which was closed last year, following which he had shifted to Bairagarh.

The five victims reached the directorate of social justice with 35 other inmates of the hostel seeking action against Awasthi, but director KG Tiwari allegedly did not entertain them.

Later, Congress media in-charge Shobha Oza went there with other party functionaries and brought them to Congress office along with an interpreter Shraddha Shukla. Oza told media persons that the inmates, through the interpreter, had told her that three inmates had died in Hoshangabad’s Malakhedi-located shelter home of Awasthi.

Raped for eight years

The complaint letter of 24-year-old deaf-mute Rani (name changed) stated she was repeatedly raped by Awasthi from 2010 till 2017. She faced the same ordeal every Saturday in Bairagarh centre where she was transferred by Awasthi. Another 18-year-old girl faced sexual abuse by Awasthi between 2006-2011.

It began with a massage

The male inmates stated they were sexually abused by Awasthi from their childhood and it started with a massage.

Sodomy, head bashing, and cold weather killed them!

Oza alleged that three inmates at the shelter home were murdered. She said that one of them died of excessive bleeding caused by sodomy, while another died after his head was bashed on a wall, and the third died of cold after he was forced to spend the night out naked.

These are sponsored murders: Oza

  • Oza said the murders took place in a shelter home funded by the state government.
  • She said, “These are state-sponsored murders as none of the responsible officials even tried to look into the issue even though several complaints were made while Awasthi was getting aid from the government.”

Gaur & Shivraj had inaugurated city centre

  • Oza alleged that former chief minister Babulal Gaur had inaugurated the Bairagarh centre in 2005 and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had inaugurated a new building of the same home.
  • She said investigation should be conducted on how Awasthi knows such big names and if that helped him dodge the police.

This matter had come to us one-and-a-half months ago as well. Social justice dept had found the allegations baseless. Police will again probe the case and register FIR if necessary.

-Jaydeep Prasad, IG, Bhopal

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