(Trigger warning: Mentions of child sexual abuse. Reader discretion advised.)
The Delhi Police on Monday, 21 August arrested a 50-year-old senior government official who has been accused of raping his deceased friend's 17-year-old daughter, officials said.
The official, working with Delhi government's Department of Women and Child Development, and his wife, have been booked for allegedly raping the minor girl for several months between 2020-2021.
“The accused deputy director and his wife are being interrogated. Any other witnesses or accused will be made a part of the investigation”, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, 21 August, ordered the suspension of the official.
An FIR under sections 376(2)(f) (being a guardian, commits rape on woman), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 323 (causing hurt), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman's consent), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (PC) and sections 6/21 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, has been lodged against the accused officer and his wife. The case was filed in the Burari police station on 13 August.
'Raped for Several Months': Delhi Police
The 17-year-old survivor was allegedly raped for several months between 2020 and 2021, DCP (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi told The Quint.
According to the police officer, the accused offered to take charge of the minor after she lost her father during the pandemic, in October 2020. He reportedly offered to take her to his home and "take care of her and help her recover from the trauma."
The government official's wife has also been booked for allegedly forcing the victim to take abortion pills, leading to termination of her pregnancy, the police added.
While the incident took place two years ago, it came to light in earlier this month when the minor was admitted to a hospital after she had "bouts of anxiety," the police said.
"The child is still in stress and trauma. She is under observation at the hospital. We are waiting for the doctor's to give us a green signal after which the girl's statement will be recorded in front of a magistrate."Sagar Singh Kalsi
Meanwhile, AAP Minister Atishi told news agency ANI, "It's a shocking incident as this accused was an officer in the Women and Child department. It's worrying as he's being charged with rape against a minor girl. I hope that the Delhi police will do the proceedings fast..."
While a government order stated that the accused worked as an Officer of Special Duty (OSD), Marlena refuted the claims. "This is a completely false thing. He (the accused) has never worked with me as an OSD," she told ANI.
DCW Calls for 'Immediate Arrest' of Accused
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal termed the officer a "predator" and called for his immediate arrest, earlier in the day.
In a post on 'X', Maliwal said, "In Delhi, a government officer sitting on the post of Deputy Director in the Women and Child Development Department has been accused of sexually abusing a girl child. The police haven't arrested him yet."
"If the one whose job was to protect the daughters turns into a predator, then where will the girls go! Must be arrested soon," Maliwal wrote.