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Will monitor Deoria probe: Allahabad HC

Taking suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports, the Allahabad high court on Wednesday said it would monitor investigation into an alleged sexual exploitation at a woman’s shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria.

lucknow Updated: Aug 09, 2018 13:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Allahabad/Deoria
Deoria probe,Allahabad high court,Uttar Pradesh
Police officials taking the resued girls for recording their statements in the court in Deoria.(Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

Taking suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports, the Allahabad high court on Wednesday said it would monitor investigation into an alleged sexual exploitation at a woman’s shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria.

The court asked the government counsel why the police kept sending girls to the shelter home even after it was blacklisted and lost its licence a year ago, and said it appeared that the accused enjoyed the patronage of a politician or a VIP, due to which no action was taken against the manager despite complaints.

When the state government informed the court it sent a letter to the home ministry recommending a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the case, the court said it would monitor investigation to ensure that it went in the right direction.

The bench comprising chief justice DB Bhosale and justice Yashwant Varma passed the order and fixed August 13 as the next date of hearing. The court directed CBI counsel Gyan Prakash and additional advocate general (AAG) Neeraj Tripathi to ensure a copy of the statements of all the inmates of the shelter home was placed before it on the next date of hearing and a responsible officer investigating the case should also be present in the court.

The case was first unearthed on Sunday after a 10-year-old girl escaped the premises by scaling a wall and told the police about the allegations of a sex work racket run from the home. The girl told police that several men would come to the home, speak to the couple running it – Girija and Mohan Tripathi -- and take the girls away in cars. Police had initially said 18 girls were missing from the home, and are combing the shelter home for clues.

The state government has suspended the district magistrate and recommended a CBI probe. State women and child welfare minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi has said the state government sent several letter to shut down the shelter and shift the children since last year but all of them were disregarded.

On Wednesday, parents and guardians of some of the residents of the Maa Vindhyavasini Mahila and Balika Sanrakshan Griha reached Deoria and demanded they be allowed to meet the girls. They also said they didn’t know of any crime occurring on the premises. The district administration officials, however, did not allow them to meet the girls and asked them to move the court to get the custody of girls. “The rescued girls will only be released on the direction of the court. We have advised all parents and guardians to approach the court to secure their release order,” said newly-appointed district magistrate of Deoria Amit Kishore.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 13:21 IST