A 68-year-old man of British origin has been arrested on the charge of sexually abusing a minor tribal boy who studies in a shelter home run by him in Odisha's Jharsuguda district, a senior police official said on Friday. The accused has been running the residential missionary institute at Jharsuguda with more than 500 children for about 25 years, Jharsuguda Superintendent of Police Rahul PR said.
The man, who has adopted Indian citizenship, was arrested on Thursday on the basis of a complaint lodged by the minor boy, a hostel inmate. Further investigation in the case is in progress, he said. The man has been booked under relevant sections of IPC, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and SC/ST (POA) Act, the SP said.
As per the complaint lodged by the boy the man hadsexually assaulted him when they were returning from Rayagada district last year, sources in the police said. The incident relating to the alleged sexual abuse cameto light during a probe into misuse of funds being provided bya foreign NGO, they said.
The man had launched Faith Outreach along with his wife around 25 years ago to provide education to tribal students. It has a center which provides home and care for abandoned babies and a children's home that provides clothing, education, medical care and daily food to over 500 poor children, the sources said. The organisation also has a training center that prepares volunteers to work as social workers in the local communities.
However, the hostel at the shelter home has been closed since March this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemndic, a police official said. No senior official of the organization was immediately available for comment on the incident.
In a similar incident, a man who ran a child shelter home in Dhenkanal district had been arrested by the police in December 2018 following allegations made by the inmates that he physically and sexually abused them.