Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has asked Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to immediately take action against foster parents involved in the alleged sexual abuse of a girl under their care. A 13-year-old girl was given for foster care to a couple in Silchar in Cachar district of Assam on May 9 by child care institution Nivedita Nari Sangstha (NNS). During the follow-up visit of the NNS officials , the girl complained of not being being comfortable with her foster parents, Gandhi said.
After three months, the child was surrendered back into the child care institution and when medical examination on the girl was conducted it was found that she was sexually abused over a period of three months by the male parent, she said. The NNS lodged a police complaint in September but no action has been taken so far, Gandhi said in a letter to Sonowal.
“Under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, the POSCO Act as well as the IPC, the foster parents, the members of the child welfare committee and the officers of the district child protection unit, who have handled this case, are criminally liable,” she said. Gandhi urged Sonowal to ensure that necessary action is taken against the persons responsible for sexual abuse of the child and they are brought to justice. “In the WCD Ministry, we follow the principle of zero tolerance to cases of child abuse and expect strictest possible action against the perpetrators,” she added.