Hunt on for ex-ITDA Project Officer who is the main accused
The police arrested five persons over allegations of exploitation of tribal girls at K.R. Puram Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in West Godavari district.
The Buttaigudem police registered cases under Sections 370 (Exploitation), 420 IPC, SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Trafficking against Korla Ramana Reddy, Naresh, Ramana, Saradhi and Varma, who were arrested on Tuesday.
A hunt was on to nab ITDA Project Officer (PO) R.V. Suryanarayana, who was the main accused in the case, said Superintendent of Police K. Narayan Naik.
The former ITDA PO, who was transferred and surrendered to the government following sexual harassment charges, and his accomplices reportedly lured Koya and Kondareddy tribal girls on the pretext of providing them jobs, the police said.
Complaint against PO
Based on the allegations made by a tribal girl, who completed TTC course, that the PO had promised to provide her a job and sexually harassed her, Collector Kartikeya Misra relieved Mr. Suryanarayana from duties a few days ago.
Mr. Misra directed Eluru Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) P. Rachana and the District Level Committee on Sexual Harassment to probe into the allegations and submit a report.
On the other hand, the SP constituted a team headed by Polavaram Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) K. Latha Kumari to investigate the charges.
“During investigation, police observed that the ITDA PO had conducted the illegal activities in his private guest house located at Jangareddygudem and he was assisted by the other accused,” an investigation officer said.
Mr. Narayan Naik told The Hindu that the modus operandi of the accused was to trap tribal girls by promising them jobs and sending them to the PO’s guest house.
“Exploitation of tribal girls was happening for the last one year. Based on the complaint lodged by a victim, the police registered a case and took up investigation. We are trying to find out how many girls were trapped and how many were involved in the activities of the gang,” the SP said.
The Collector said the Eluru RDO and other officers visited the K.R. Puram ITDA and conducted an inquiry. They spoke with the victims, staff and the villagers.
“Ms. Rachana is likely to submit her inquiry report on the sexual harassment on Wednesday. The District Level Committee on Sexual Harassment too will submit its report shortly. Action will be taken against the accused as per law, irrespective of the cadre, and justice will be done to the victims,” the Collector said.
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