Berhampur: As many as 13 minor girls, including eight rape survivors and some orphans, escaped from a shelter home at Goshani Nuagaon in Ganjam district on the wee hours of Tuesday.
As per the latest information, the location of the girls was traced in Bhubaneswar and one of them has been rescued. The Commissionerate Police has launched a search operation to locate the 12 others. Besides, a team from Gosaninuagaon police has also left for Bhubaneswar to assist in the rescue operation.
The girls were inmates of Utkal Balashram. They were housed in it for various reasons from being ostracized and abandoned by families to being rendered homeless after being orphaned.
According to reports, they flung across a broken wall behind the main building of the shelter home and made use of the darkness to escape around 1 am on Tuesday.
Balasharam superintendent Sasmitarani Padhi said, “All the girls were in their respective beds when checked last night. This morning, I noticed their absence and immediately notified Childline, Child Welfare Committee and police.”
Berhampur sub-collector Shinde Dattatraya Bhausaheb said, “We have received information about the girls’ presence in Bhubaneswar. In collaboration with the Commissionerate Police, we are trying to locate the girls to rescue them.”
He added that once the girls are safely back, they will investigate the matter and take necessary action against those found guilty of security lapse.