A probe committee of the Directorate of Social Welfare has found negligence by Ansar personnel and the safe home's staff members in the incident of seven teenage girls fleeing from the Safe Home for Women and Children in Chittagong's Hathazari on Wednesday.
The probe committee recommended taking four people into police custody for further interrogation in this connection, sources said.
The four were identified as two female Ansars Juthi Akhter and Anima Roy and two maids (Aaya) of the safe home Kohinur Begum and Nurunnahar who were on duty at the time of the incident.
Eight teenage girls aged between 16 to 19 years fled the safe home, run by the Directorate of Social Welfare, in Farhadabad area in Hathazari upazila early Wednesday after managing to break open the door of the dining room in the home.
Police later rescued one of the teenagers, Sumaiya, 17, from Nur Ali Mia area of Hathazari-Najirhat Road the same morning while she was waiting to board a bus.
The other seven remain missing till filling this report yesterday. The reason why they fled could not be confirmed immediately.
A three member-committee was formed Wednesday and the committee placed its reports yesterday evening.
The committee is by headed Division Nazneen Kawshar, director of the Chittagong Social Welfare Department. Its other members are Additional Director Bondona Das and Deputy Director Mohammad Shahidul Haque from the same office.
Talking to The Daily Star, Nazneen Kawshar said, “We have found negligence by two Ansars and two staff members of the safe home. The committee recommended they be taken into police custody for further interrogation."
“Our report was sent to the Director General of Social Welfare Department yesterday evening. The court was also informed about the matter," she said.
The committee also asked for tightening security at the safe home, she added.
The probe found Juthi Akter, one of the female on-duty ansars, discharged her duty in civil dress and was asleep when the incident took place. The other Ansar Anima Roy did not come to work.
The Safe Home staff members were found not patrolling regularly during the night time, the officials said.
Nazneen said police personnel of a nearby camp had earlier been served with a showcase notice for irregular duty on December 31 while the superintendent of the safe home was served with a warning on January 8 this year about negligence of her staff at the safe home.
“After analysing CCTV footage, it was found the staff members of the home did not even check the doors and locks before they went to sleep,” she said.
DD Mohammed Shahidul Islam said it was found that the girls appeared to have plotted the escape and broke open the door with the help of a stone and fled with bag and baggage.
“We have informed all concerned offices and police stations in every upazila of the country and given them details of the girls,” he said.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Rezaul Masud of Chittagong Police said a case was being filed against four people while police were communicating with other police stations on the matter.
The Safe Home was establishing on nine acres of land in 2003. This is the only safe home in Chittagong Division. Some 56 women and children reside there, sources said.