New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Friday lodged a police complaint against the staff of a shelter home in Delhi for abusing the girls residing there. Girls between the age 6-15 complained that female staff at the shelter home put chilli powder in their private parts as punishment. In fact, they were also forced to have chilli powder, they said. Also Read - Will Always Miss Him: As Swati Maliwal Announces Divorce From AAP's Naveen Jaihind, Twitter Praises Her Strength, Grace

DCW chief Swati Maliwal said, “When we interacted with the younger girls at the home, two of them seemed scared. On counselling them further, they told us that chilli powder was put in their private parts publicly, as a form of corporal punishment, by the staff at the shelter home.” Also Read - Hanging Too Small Punishment For Nirbhaya Convicts: Maliwal on SC Dismissing Curative Pleas

The girls were also forced to wash utensils and clothes, clean rooms and toilets, and perform other kitchen chores, as the home did not have adequate staff. Reportedly, the reason behind making the girls work in the kitchen was that there was only one cook in the home for the 22 girls and staff, and the quality of food was not good too. Also Read - DCW Chief Swati Maliwal Falls Unconscious, Admitted to LNJP Hospital on 13th Day of Hunger Strike

The teenagers were also subjected to beating with scales for not keeping their rooms clean and not listening to the staff. They were not permitted to go home during summer and winter vacations, said the girls.

The incident came to light after members of the DCW interacted with the girls of the shelter home to understand their experience of residing there. According to a statement given by the girls, any sort of defiant behaviour from the children would be met with “serious and grave punishment”.

After the committee members narrated the girls’ ordeal, DCW chief Swati Maliwal immediately reached the home and called the Dwarka Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), who sent a team of senior officers to the home and recorded statements of the children. A complaint has been registered by the Delhi Police against the staff, the DCW said.

The DCW chairperson and the members of the expert committee stayed in the home till early morning, the statement said. A team of DCW counsellors, as well as police, have been deputed in the home 24/7 to ensure the safety of the children. The DCW shall continue to monitor the condition of the shelter home, it added.

Earlier this month, at least eight women and a minor girl went missing from a state-run ashram in Delhi. The women went missing from Sanskar Ashram in Dilshad Garden on the intervening night of December 1 and 2. Following the incident, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had suspended some senior officials of Women and Child Development Department.  Delhi Commission for Women’s chief Swati Maliwal had written to the Police Commissioner, seeking the case to be transferred to the Crime Branch.