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Bhopal Hostel Director Accused of Repeatedly Raping Speech-Impaired Girl, Arrested

The case came to light when the girl’s family took her home and learnt her ordeal with the help of a sign language expert.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:August 10, 2018, 12:00 AM IST
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Bhopal Hostel Director Accused of Repeatedly Raping Speech-Impaired Girl, Arrested
Image for representation only. (Mir Suhail/ News18 Creatives)
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Bhopal: Director of a hostel in Bhopal has been arrested for raping a 20-year-old speech and hearing impaired girl, the police said.

The accused has been identified as Ashwani Kumar Sharma. He runs two hostels, one of them for differently-abled kids. The girl, a tribal, had been living in the hostel for three years and has alleged that she was raped repeatedly.

The case came to light when the girl’s family took her home and learnt her ordeal with the help of a sign language expert. A case was filed and the accused was arrested on the basis of the girl’s complaint.

The girl has also accused Sharma of raping another girl at hostel. Both the hostels owned by Sharma have been closed since June. IG (Intelligence) Makrand Deuskar said the probe was underway and statements of other hostel inmates would be recorded.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress claimed the hostel was aided by the MP government's Social Justice Department and demanded a thorough investigation into the incident and a social audit of all such hostels.

The party drew parallels with the Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Deoria (Uttar Pradesh) shelter home rape cases which have rocked the nation after being unearthed in April-May and August respectively.

Inspector General (Intelligence) Makrand Deuskar told reporters that police will talk to all inmates of the hostel. He said the accused ran two hostels, one for boys and another for girls.

Addressing a press conference, Congress media cell chairperson Shobha Oza told reporters that the party had found that the hostel was funded by the state government. "The incident that occurred in the hostel at Awadhpuri is like the one which has taken place in Muzaffarpur and Deoria. It's shocking that deaf and mute girls are not safe in hostels," Oza said.

She hit out at the state government claiming that there was a 532 per cent increase in cases of rape of children in the past 15 years.

(With inputs from PTI)
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