The accused is said to be an 18-year-old teacher training student

Department of Social Welfare officials sealed an orphanage here on Thursday following a complaint that an 18-year-old inmate sexually harassed a 10-year-old girl inmate.

Police said one Prabhakaran, managing trustee of Malarchi Trust, had been running two orphanages near Reddiyarpatti. Boys aged between 9 and 17 years (as per the law boys aged up to 17 only can be kept in an orphanage) were lodged in a home behind Law College Students’ Hostel. In another block on the same campus, boys and girls aged between 6 and 12 years were housed.

On Wednesday, one of the inmates, a second-year teacher training student, sexually harassed a 10-year-old girl inmate, and she has been admitted to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. The accused is 18 years old, sources said. Based on a complaint from the victim, Perumalpuram police registered a case. Department of Social Welfare officials, led by Deputy Director Thamizharasi and District Social Welfare Officer Poongothai, visited the orphanage on Thursday evening and conducted enquiries with those who manage the homes. They also interacted with the children.

“The inmates will be taken to a safer place after sealing the homes. The registration of the home will be cancelled,” Ms.Thamizharasi said. The girl children would be shifted to a place approved by the Department of Social Welfare, she said.

Further investigations are on. Malarchi Trust was in news after two of its inmates drowned in a pond at Alangulam near Ittaeri near here on January 3, 2012.

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