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Authorities failed to act against managers of Deoria shelter home, says probe report

The role of the district police in the case of alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at a shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria has also come under the scanner in the report.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2018 11:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
Deoria,Deoria shelter home,UJP shelter home
Political party leaders display placards and raise slogans during a protest over the recent incidents of Deoria and Muzaffarpur shelter homes, during Monsoon Session at the Parliament in New Delhi, on Monday. (Vipin Kumar/HT File photo)

A committee probing the alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at a shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria has said the district authorities failed to take appropriate action against the managers of the facility despite several orders from the government, an official has said.

The two-member committee handed over its report to chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday evening.

The senior state government official said the report blamed the then district magistrate Sujit Kumar for ignoring the direction of the child welfare department to take action against the non-governmental organisation Maa Vindhyavasani Mahila and Balika Sanrakshan Grih for illegally operating the shelter home.

Kumar was also told to shut the Deoria shelter home and shift the children to another accommodation, the official said quoting the report. If the district magistrate had followed the order of the state government, the children would have been rescued in June last year when the state government had cancelled the NGO’s recognition, he added.

The DM told the probe team that when district administration officers raided the shelter home, its manager Girija Tripathi poured kerosene and threatened to set herself ablaze.

The probe team said Tripathi’s threat indicated she was trying to cover up her misdeeds. Instead of succumbing to pressure, the district administration should have raided the shelter home with police assistance, the report said.

The chief minister has already ordered that a charge sheet must be filed against Kumar.

The role of the district police has also come under the scanner in the report.

The local police, the report said, ignored an order by the Deoria superintendent of police in September last year directing station house officers of all police stations against sending rescued children to the shelter home run by the NGO after the termination of its recognition.

Two first information reports were registered against members of the Maa Vidhvasani Mahila and Balika Sanrakshan management but the district police took no action.

Police officers told the committee they were left with no other option but to send the children to the home run by Girija as there was no other shelter home in the district.

The additional director general of police (Gorakhpur) has been directed to probe the role of Deoria Police.

The district probation officer (DPO) ignored the women and child welfare department’s directives, the report said, as he did not shut the shelter home and shift the children elsewhere even after the NGO’s recognition was cancelled.

It also observed that the district child welfare committee did not take any action. The welfare committee members neither visited the shelter home to review its working nor communicated with the inmates, the report said.

A home department official said the report and copies of the two police complaints will be sent to the central government with the recommendation for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The probe committee consisted of additional chief secretary (women welfare) Renuka Kumar and ADG (women power line) Anju Gupta. They visited Deoria on Monday to inquire into the working of the shelter home.

The chief minister had recommended a CBI probe into the matter on Tuesday and also ordered the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to check any tampering of evidence till the central agency took over the probe.

Police raided the shelter home, Maa Vindhyavasini Mahila aur Balika Sanrakshan Grih, on Sunday after a 10-year-old girl escaped from the home and informed them that inmates were allegedly being forced into flesh trade.

They rescued 24 women and found 18 others missing and also arrested the shelter home manager Tripathi, her husband Mohan Tripathi and their daughters Kanchan Lata Tripathi and Kanak Lata Tripathi.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 11:38 IST