A day after British national Murray Denis Ward was arrested on the charge of sexually assaulting three blind children, the National Association for the Blind (NAB) said on Tuesday it has suspended services of over 100 volunteers.
The NGO management said it was awaiting a status report from the Delhi Police on the matter before availing services of volunteers who have been asked to remain off campus for the time being.
“As a charitable organisation, we depend on donors and volunteers for running our activities. We did not expect such behaviour from Ward. It is an extremely shocking, disgusting, and criminal breach of trust on his part. It is necessary to follow the suggestion and guidelines of Delhi Police so that such incidents are not repeated in future,” NAB General Secretary Prashant Ranjan Verma told IANS.
“We are disgusted and want him to be punished in accordance with law. We are cooperating fully with police, who have been very professional and swift in response,” Verma said.
He said the association wanted to normalise the situation on the NAB campus in R.K. Puram in south Delhi and had thus decided to suspend the services of all volunteers.
He said NAB had installed 32 closed circuit television on the campus, except in hostel rooms and washrooms. Ward knew this and avoided the CCTVs to cover his crime, Verma added.
“The three minor boys are undergoing counselling. They are behaving normally,” the NAB official added.
The 54-year-old British national was working as a volunteer with the NGO for visually impaired children and was arrested on charge of sodomising three minors.
Booked under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, Murray Denis Ward was on Monday sent in two-day police custody by a local court.
The NAB management had complained to the police on Sunday about the sexual assault on the NAB premises in Sector 5 of R.K. Puram. Ward was then arrested from his flat in south Delhi’s Vasant Enclave.
Ward, a resident of Henely Cottage at Ampney Crusis in the United Kingdom, had worked with a Gurgugram-based MNC till April 2017.
He used to visit the NGO premises twice a month and took evening classes in English and sports activities.
A total of 170 visually impaired students, including boys and girls in the 3-18 age group, stay in the NGO’s hostel. Of them, 70 have poor eyesight.