GUWAHATI: A senior official of SOS Children’s Village, Guwahati, has been arrested on charges of molesting three minor girls who are among the 140 children who live in the village.
The village at Azara was set up under the international organization, SOS Children’s Villages International, in 1988. The SOS Villages organization states its aim is to “protect and care for children who have lost parental care or stand to lose it.”
The assistant director of SOS Children’s Village, Guwahati, Loon Vaiphai (44), allegedly assaulted the three when he was in a car with them on July 22. Although the three children complained against Vaiphai, from Manipur to village authorities, no action has been taken, the girls told the police.
The case came to light on August 1, when the girls narrated their ordeal to members of Rotaract Club, which was organizing a six-day leadership camp at the village. The members reached out to a local journalist, who then approached child rights activist Miguel Das Queah. Miguel, also the founder of child rights organization Utsah, filed an FIR at the Azara police station, following which the police lodged a case against Vaiphai.“We have conducted an investigation. After collecting enough evidence, we arrested Vaiphai on Thursday and moved him into judicial custody,” Azara police station officer-in-charge Ashok Dutta said on Sunday. Vaiphai has been charged under Section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (aggravated sexual assault), he added.
“When produced in court, the girls said they wanted to be sent back to the village because they have nowhere else to go,” Dutta said, adding the children’s statements have been recorded.