Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, October 7
The case relating to the sexual abuse and death of a 14-year-old girl was strengthened on Wednesday after four former residents of Maruthi orphanage in Hyderabad came forward and recorded their statements before a magistrate against three people, accused of sexual assault of the minor girl.
Police said the statement made by these girls corroborates the statement given by the victim.
After being sexually abused, the minor girl had died on August 12, 2020, but before her death she recorded her statement saying that she was sexually exploited by 51-year-old Naredla Venugopal Reddy, a donor to the orphanage. He was aided by orphanage owner Chielukuri Vijaya and her brother, Surapaneni Jayadeep, the police have revealed.
The victim had confided in her aunt on July 31, who in turn has lodged a complaint with the police. After the death of the girl, her body had been sent for the chemical examination that ruled out poisoning. After a committee was formed to investigate the case, the police said they were in the process of filing a charge-sheet.
Swathi Lakra, a senior officer investigating the case told the media that the police were talking to the four girls who have come forward and given their statement to a magistrate. Now we have enough material for prosecution.
After the girl was enrolled in the orphanage in 2015, her abuse started in 2019. The girl had told the police that the warden, Vijaya, allegedly took the girl to a room on the fifth floor where the accused Venugopal gave her a juice laced with sedatives and raped her.
When she reported the matter to the warden, he threatened her and asked her not to reveal the incident to anyone. The abuse allegedly continued several times for several months. Other girls in the institution have alleged that there had been a similar sexual assault on another girl at the orphanage.
The police propose to bring all this into the charge-sheet.