It was an ashram for handicapped, destitute girls. A girl who escaped from the facility at Shilapathar, Borpathar alleged rampant sexual exploitation of ashramites, including minors by the superintendent and his cronies. The ashram in question is Sri Sri Sevashram, Dhemaji district, Assam.
The girl escaped from the ashram premises late Monday night and had reportedly sought shelter at a neighbour's house. The shaken girl alleged before authorities and media persons that Madhav Krishna Deb Goswami who is in-charge of the ashram has been sexually exploiting her and other inmates for the past three months.
She claimed that on Monday, as Goswami approached her, she pushed him aside and ran for her life. Goswami and two of his alleged associates are absconding.
The girl, who cannot be named because of her age told media persons that girls of the ashram are locked up in two rooms.
Goswami's associates Shyamal Gogoi and Dipankar Chetia used to 'choose' girls and take them to the superintendent on a daily basis. Sexual exploitation, torture and threats followed.
"I underwent the ordeal for three months. They even threatened to kill me. A couple of days back two of my friends escaped from the ashram. I could not follow them due to an injury in my leg. Yesterday I pushed them aside as they were taking me out and ran. Many girls like me are there in the ashram," she said.
The neighbour who sheltered the girl said that they have heard screams of girls from the ashram and the girl in question was banging at her door at night and could only manage to say "save me". She narrated her ordeal to the lady later on.
The ashram in question is well known in police, administration and Child line circles. Government and police officials, even officials from para military forces have attended functions at the ashram in the past.
Ashram in-charge Madhav Krishna's facebook profile has a picture with state governor Jagdish Mukhi. The administration and child welfare committee are at their wits end over these allegations.
Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Sunita Changkakoti said "We shall have our investigations, parallel to the police probe. We shall record her statement. If true, this is alarming."
Police superintendent Nilesh Swargakare said that a medical examination will be conducted and that the police is recording the survivor's statement. He added that Madhav Krishna and his associates are absconding.
Madhav Krishna Goswami claimed before a section of the media that he was not guilty as alleged.
He claimed that a few influential people from the area have framed him with the help of the girl as he refused to shell out money that they were demanding of him.
He further alleged that a section of the locals were trying to shut down the ashram.
Locals took out a rally demanding the immediate arrest of Madhav Krishna and his associates. District magistrate of Dhemaji, Roshni Karati said that a magisterial level inquiry has been ordered into the incident and district level officer of Commission for Protection of Child Rights has been asked to supervise the day to day activities of the ashram and act as guardian of the inmates till further notice.
Source: India Today