Dhenkanal: Minor girls of a shelter home here have accused its in-charge of sexually abusing them following which he was arrested on Saturday, police said.
The incident came to light when some of the girls while speaking to the media had recently accused the home in-charge, the police said.
The girls had alleged that the in-charge, Simanchal Nayak, had been harassing them sexually, physically and mentally for last two years and they did not tell anyone about it out of fear and shame.
The shelter home accommodates more than 80 girls and boys, the police said.
Acting on the media reports, the district child protection officer Anuradha Goswami and members of the Child Welfare Committee of the district had raided the shelter home located at Beltikiri at the outskirts of Dhenkanal town on Friday, a police officer said.
Goswami had also lodged a complaint at the Sadar police station in this connection and Nayak was arrested, he said.
The DCPO said the shelter home violated provisions under the Juvenile Justice Act and was operating illegally in a secluded place at Beltikiri.
An investigation has been initiated into the case and efforts are on to apprehend the home's owner and managing director Fayaz Rahman, Dhenkanal sub-divisional police officer Abdul Karim said.
Meanwhile, Nayak has denied the allegations levelled against him by the girls and said they had done so as he had tried to enforce discipline at the shelter home.
The central government had earlier directed the states to inspect all child care institutions in the aftermath of the alleged sexual abuse of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Bihar.
A similar case had also surfaced in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh this year.
As many as 539 childcare institutions were shut down by the Women and Child Development Ministry across the country for various irregularities after the inspections.