TT, Raiganj, March 8: Five girls aged between 16 and 18 years escaped from a government shelter in the Balurchar area of Malda town this morning after abseiling down the two-storied building using bed sheets and dupattas.
Two other girls, who had slipped out of the home along with the five, were intercepted by some morning walkers.
Sources said the home for the destitute girls was overcrowded for the past few months. "Fifty girls are staying at the home which has the infrastructure to accommodate just 30. A guard is posted at the home but he did not have an inkling of the girls' escape," said a source.
The home is run from the first floor of a two-storied building of Englishbazar Municipality.
Around 5am today, some morning walkers noticed two girls frantically running out of the home. They gave the girls a chase. Both of them slipped and fell on the road and brought back to the home.
"The authorities checked the roof and found that the girls had managed to get a grinding stone from the kitchen and broken the lock at the door leading to the roof. They spoke and sang loudly so that the sound of breaking the lock couldn't be heard by others. The girls went to the roof and used bed sheets and dupattas as ropes. They abseiled down the building one after another," said the source.
Local police passed on the details of the five girls to all nearby police station. Sharad Dwivedi, the district magistrate of Malda, along with the district child protection officer and chairperson of the child welfare committee, went to the home.
"We are taking all steps to locate the five girls. We found lapses on the part of the employees. A showcause has been served on the superintendent of the home," Dwivedi said.