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Odisha shelter home sexual harassment case: US senator writes to India, says accused jailed for being 'Christian'


ANI General News
After the arrest of Dr Faiz Rahman, the owner of the Dhenkanal based shelter-home, on the allegations of sexual harassment by minor inmates, US senator representing the Republican from Lows, Charles Ernest Grassley has written to India alleging that the man has been jailed for being a 'Christian'.
Charles E Grassley had written to India's Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla on August 1 alleging that Dr Faiz Rahman who is the owner of an NGO "Good News India", has been denied bail and his trial delayed on numerous occasions.
"I have been contacted by the lowans about the case of Dr Rahman expressing their concerns that he is being unjustly persecuted because of his religion as a practicing Christian. I ask that your government look into Dr Rahman Case, that it be given every consideration under applicable Indian law and that it be resolved as speedily as possible," Grasseley wrote in his letter to the Shringla.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs had forwarded the letter to the Odisha Government through Chief Resident Commissioner asking the factual details of the case and the current status of the case.
Responding to the ANI question, Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Home said, "There were lots of allegations against Dr Rahman, their institute "Good News India" and project director Simanchal Nayak, and assistant director Udit Kumar Lima with regard to misbehaviour, sexual harassment, and molestation. This was inquired by the District Child Protection Officer, who filed the FIR alleging sexual abuse and harassment to the girls at the shelter home. Three cases under POCSO Act were registered against these three people. This is being investigated and chargsheet has been filed in all three cases and the case is now Sub-Judice"
"If there is any other fact...will come out through Court. We have found that he had issue against him under the POCSO Act. As a result, he was booked under the particular Act and he is now facing the trial in the court."
Faiz Rehman, who owned a child shelter home in Dhenkanal was arrested by the Police on December 2, 2018, following allegations of sexual abuse by the minor inmates of their shelter home. The action came after the district administration and District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) and Member of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) conducted inquiry and recorded the statement of the girl inmates in this case.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 1:22 PM IST

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