Inmates in an illegally run private children's shelter home in India were allegedly sexually abused and forced to eat dog excreta, local media reports said.

The alleged violation took place in a shelter home-cum-school for tribal and poor children run by Chandraprabha Charitable Trust in Karjat, in Maharashtra state's Raigad district.

The shelter home houses around 35 children between the ages of five and 15. The inmates were forced to watch pornographic movies and perform sexual acts on each other, according to reports.

Ajit Dabhokar, the founder of the shelter home, and his assistant, Lalita Tonde, have been arrested.

The case came to light when the mother of one of the children narrated the incident to her employers. Her employers in turn contacted NGO, Childline.

"Ajit Dabholkar forced them to worship his genitals," said Ashok Jangle, director of Raigad Childline, who recorded the students' statements.

"He raped the older girls, while caretaker Lalita Tonde forced the older boys to have sex with her. Those who resisted were locked up in cubby holes and starved for four to five days. The children were then forced to eat dog excreta."

After the violation came to light more students came forward and narrated the abuses they suffered.

"We spoke to five such victims and after their statements were recorded before the Raigad Child Welfare Committee. We lodged a police complaint. While four children spoke, one is in a state of trauma and is in not in a position to record her statement," Dr Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe, director of the Pune-based Dnyan Devi-Childline group, told the The Hindu newspaper.

Dabhokar and Tonde have been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, for offences such as unnatural sex, wrongful confinement, insult to modesty of woman through words or gestures, and causing hurt voluntarily.