A probe body formed by the district office of Department of Social Services (DSS) has found negligence of on-duty Ansar and VDP members and staff of the safe home at Chittagong’s Hathazari Upazila from where eight teenage girls had fled several days ago.
Run by the DSS for distressed women, children and teenage girls, the safe home was launched back in 2003 over nine acres of land in Farhadabad area of the upazila.
The safe home was providing shelter to 56 girls and women. Of them, eight girls aged between 16 to 19 years fled on Tuesday night after breaking the grill on a kitchen window in the shelter.
Police, however, rescued one of them the next day from Hathazari while she was waiting to board a bus. But the whereabouts of seven others are still unknown.
The reason behind their escape was also yet to be ascertained.
Following the incident, the three-member probe team was formed on Wednesday with DSS Chittagong Divisional Director Nazneen Kawshar as its chief. The committee submitted its report to the DSS director general on Thursday evening.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, investigation team member DSS Chittagong Deputy Director Shahidul Islam said the incident was the first of its kind to have happened at the safe home.
“We have found negligence of the two on-duty Ansar members and two staff of the safe home. We have recommended taking all four into police custody for further interrogation,” he said.
Shahidul also said that they have notified all the police stations and the court about the incident, while recommending beefing up security at the safe home.
According to their findings, Juthi Akter, one of the female Ansar members, was found asleep wearing civvies while she was on duty when the eight teenagers fled. The other Ansar member, Anima Roy, was absent.
The staffers of the safe home who were supposed to be on-duty were also absent at the time of the incident.