Deoria: ‘Shelter home functioned despite several red flags’
The Maa Vindhyavasini Mahila and Balika Sanrakshan Griha in Deoria continued to function for almost a year after its licence was cancelled though the district child welfare committee and some local police officials claimed to have pointed out that it was operating illegally.Updated: Aug 08, 2018 13:46 IST
Hindustan Times, Deoria
The Maa Vindhyavasini Mahila and Balika Sanrakshan Griha in Deoria continued to function for almost a year after its licence was cancelled though the district child welfare committee and some local police officials claimed to have pointed out that it was operating illegally, officials and activists said.
The licence had been cancelled after a probe into functioning of shelter homes across the state.
A team led by district child welfare committee chairman SK Yadav visited the shelter home in Deoria on June 23 last year to ensure that all children at the shelter home were released from there following cancellation of the licence. However, the children could not be released as the shelter home manager obtained a stay order.
“Girija Tripathi showed us a stay order from the high court. The order gave four more days to Tripathi to vacate the shelter home,” claimed Yadav.
Though the relief was only for four days, Tripathi allegedly used the order to run the shelter home for more than a year, he said.
Yadav was accompanied by three other members of the child welfare committee and the then district probation officer (DPO).
During this period, around 100 girls were kept at the shelter homes by local police after they were produced before a magistrate and subjected to a mandatory medical examination at the district hospital.
“We wrote at least eight letters to the superintendent of police, Deoria, the district probationary officer and even the DM, informing them about the status of the shelter home, but our letters went unnoticed,” said Kanaklata Dwivedi, a child welfare committee member who met the rescued girls on Tuesday.
The child welfare committees are set up as per the provision of the Juvenile Justice( JJ) Act and are required to inspect such shelter homes at regular intervals.
The CWC conducted its last inspection at the shelter home almost a week before its licence was cancelled.
“The shelter home didn’t have a single inspection for over a year, which should have been noticed by the district magistrate or other officials,” Sukriti Singh , a child rights activist, said.
A Deoria police inspector, who refused to be named, said, “Every police official in the district was aware that the shelter home was illegal. We often informed our seniors but nobody paid heed.”
He said police officials had no choice but to take the girls, who had been abandoned or were victims of crime, to the shelter home as there was no other facility of the kind in the district.
Beside the letters, CWC members claimed that they personally met senior police officials regarding the matter in November last year.
“We told the officials that the shelter home is illegal and asked them to stop sending girls there. But nothing happened,” said Yadav.
First Published: Aug 08, 2018 13:46 IST