Mumbai, Oct 29: Taking a serious view of allegations of rape and sexual abuse in a state-run women’s hostel here, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Monday ordered a probe into the matter, an official said.
“The chief minister has ordered the crime branch to make a detailed investigation into this matter and submit its report on priority,” an official told IANS.
The official said the government was concerned over some reports claiming that many of the abused women had fled the Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruh (NMV) in Mankhurd in north Mumbai after armed goons created terror there.
“The chief minister has taken a very serious note of the developments, the allegations of sexual abuse of some of the inmates and how they were made to survive in inhuman conditions at the hostel,” the official added.
The NMV is meant to be a rehabilitation centre for women rescued from prostitution.
Media reports Monday highlighted an interview by a Kolkata woman who came here four years ago to work as a waitress in a bar. When the bar was raided, she was arrested and sent to the NMV hostel in May.
In an interview, in which her identity was withheld, she recounted the horrible conditions at the hostel and how around three dozen inmates attempted to flee the place after a brawl with the caretakers two days ago.
While some 13 inmates had been nabbed, the remaining 23 were still at large and reportedly scared to return there.
The media reports claimed that the inmates had been regularly sexually abused and raped by armed goons who entered the hostel virtually unhindered.
According to the reports, officials connected with the hostel expressed inability to do anything in the matter as they had no powers.