A shelter home in Uttar Pradesh has become the centre of a similar controversy after the Muzaffarpur shelter home abuse case, in which at least 35 out of 44 minor girls were allegedly raped over several years. Now in Deoria, 18 out of 42 girls were reported missing when police raided the shelter home on Sunday evening. The incident came to the light when one of the girls, who managed to escape from the shelter home, informed the police. The girl revealed to the police that a sex racket was being run in the shelter home.
“One of the girls escaped from the shelter home, came to us and said they are treated like servants. She also said that cars come to pick girls above 15 years old, and the girls come crying the next day. Investigation is underway,” Deoria SP Rohan P Kanay was quoted by ANI.
“Many times white, black and red cars used to come and take away the girls. When the returned in the morning, they used to cry,” the girl alleged.
One of the girls escaped from the shelter home, came to us & said they are treated like servants. She also said that cars come to pick girls above 15 years old & the girls come crying the next day. Investigation is underway: Superintendent of Police Rohan P Kanay pic.twitter.com/nJyjpl0mxz
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 5, 2018
The NGO named Vindhyavasini Women and Girl Child Protection House was already on police's radar as they had already received a complaint against it. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, UP women and child development minister, told the reporters that after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inspection last year, it was established that Deoria shelter home was running illegally. A direction was issued to shift the inmates and shut it. But this order was not followed.
After CBI inspection last year, it was established that Deoria shelter home centre was running illegally. A direction was issued to shift the inmates and shut it. But this order was not followed: Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Women & Child Welfare Minister pic.twitter.com/QyylMfRjNv
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 6, 2018
A case has been registered under various sections related to human trafficking, flesh trade and child labour against the operator of the shelter home Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi, who have been arrested. They reportedly failed in providing satisfactory answers to the police regarding the whereabouts of the missing girls.
Speaking to Newsclick, Ram Iqbal Yadav, district president, Samajwadi Party, said, "Nearly two and a half years ago, the registration of the shelter home was cancelled by the Uttar Pradesh government, but surprisingly, with the help of the Yogi-led-BJP government, these people were running this shelter home. We also came to know that there are six more branches running across the city with more than 600 hundred girls, children. Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi, along with their daughter Kanchan Lata, were running the shelter home."
Yadav further alleged that the owner of the shelter home was using muscle power to run this illegal shelter home where innocent girls were being sexually abused and raped and they will stage a protest against the incident.
Recently, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had received backlash after 35 girls were reportedly raped and tortured at the government-funded shelter home over several years in Muzaffarpur. He had told ANI, “You should also focus on the positive things. One negative incident happened and you are just talking about it only.”