Child sexual abuse rampant in Patna

PATNA: In Bihar, children are vulnerable to sexual assault mostly in Patna, followed by West Champaran, Madhubani, Bhojpur and Vaishali districts.

According to data available with state police headquarters, altogether 227 cases were registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in Patna district alone till December last year. The Act came into force in the state in 2012.

Patna is followed by West Champaran, where 146 such cases were reported during the same period. The figure stood at 131 cases in Madhubani and 120 cases each in Bhojpur and Vaishali districts.

Of the 277 cases in Patna, police have completed investigation in 176 cases. However, only four accused have so far been convicted in such cases in the district. In West Champaran, police have completed investigation in 128 cases and four accused have been convicted. Though police in Madhubani district have completed investigation in 93 cases, no one has been convicted so far in the district. In Bhojpur, 93 cases have so far been investigated and 12 accused convicted. Meanwhile, 14 persons booked under POCSO Act have walked free in the district. Police in Vaishali have completed investigation in 80 cases and ensured conviction of five accused. Three persons have walked free in the district.

A senior Patna police officer said in many cases, complainants reach a compromise formula with the accused to avoid social ignominy. “Such compromises adversely hamper police investigation. Sometimes, children are also influenced by their family members to maintain silence,” he said.
The alleged sexual assault of a five-year-old girl at a prominent city school by two of her female teachers had hit the headlines some months back. The two teachers – Nutan Joseph and Indu Anand – were arrested. The Patna high court had, however, granted bail to Indu Anand on March 2.
A woman had to run from pillar to post to lodge an FIR in connection with alleged sexual assault of his four-year-old son. Patliputra police station SHO Sanjeev Shekhar Jha took 36 days to register her complaint. The SHO has now been attached to police lines as a punishment and departmental proceedings have been initiated against him.
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