Letters tell tales of horror at shelter
New Delhi

Letters, reportedly written by the inmates of an observation home for girls in the Nirmal Chhaya complex, reveal that one of them was forced to undergo an abortion. In chilling disclosures made by at least seven inmates, they alleged that though they wanted to get reunited with their friends and families, they were “forced“ to stay in the shelter home.

A source who visited the observation home informed TOI that the situation was “horrible“ and immediate action was need of the hour. “The girls were beaten up mercilessly by the house mother and they were not allowed to raise any grievance with the outside people. There are no medical facilities in the observation home either,“ said the source, who claimed to have witnessed the torture.

The seven inmates purportedly wrote the letters in October 2016, raising concerns over the deteriorating situation in the home. “I was pregnant but was forced to undergo abortion. They (staff) promised me that I will be allowed to go to my friend but I am still being forced to stay here. I request that either I be allowed to go to my friend or allowed to move to another home,“ pleaded one inmate in the letter. The source, however, said it was uncertain if the alleged forced abortions were still taking place.

Another inmate in her letter said: “I am married and have a six-year-old daughter. We both live here and have been facing serious difficulties. I want to go back to my husband but I am being forced to stay . The case is unnecessarily being prolonged. I request that I should be reunited with my husband.“

Chronicling the abuse in a complaint written by the inmates to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority and the Delhi Commission of Women on April 8 2017, some of them claimed that two inmates in the shelter home had consumed phenyl but no medical attention was given to them. Instead, a staffer beat them “brutally“, the complaint alleged. The letter also claimed that the girls were later taken inside a medical room in the observation home, were locked and mercilessly slapped.

There are also those who did not wish to get reunited with their families. One of the inmates alleged that she was being forced to reunite with her family when she wanted to study and get a job. “I sincerely request that either I be sent alone or to an NGO where I can study and get a job,“ she stated.

Urging the authorities to come and see them, the girls stated, “The girls are beaten up. We are very sad here.“

The girls have also alleged of repeated beatings, and cases where they were forcefully injected with a chemical to make them appear older than their biological age.

NHRC notice to Delhi govt, police

The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the city government after several teenage girl inmates of a shelter home in west Delhi accused some staff members of molesting and injecting them with drugs.

The girls have also alleged that they were beaten up if they tried resisting and were also not provided sanitary napkins.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a media report, the NHRC has issued the notices to the Delhi chief secretary and the commissioner of the Delhi Police, and sought a detailed report within four weeks, the Commission said on Tuesday. PTI