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'Girls Were Sent With People in Luxury Cars': 24 Rescued From UP Shelter Home After 10-Yr-Old's Escape

The couple who operated the shelter home and its superintendent have arrested. Eighteen girls are still missing.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 7, 2018, 12:02 AM IST
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'Girls Were Sent With People in Luxury Cars': 24 Rescued From UP Shelter Home After 10-Yr-Old's Escape
Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi, who operated the shelter home, and its superintendent Kanchanlata have been arrested. (Image: PTI)
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Lucknow: Even as the outrage over Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes is yet to subside, a similar incident has come to light in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria town where 24 girls were rescued from a shelter on Sunday night, while 18 are still missing.

The matter came to the fore after a 10-year-old girl, who managed to escape from Maa Vindhyavasini shelter home, approached the police and told officers that many of her fellow inmates were “taken away by people who visited them in luxury cars”.

“People used to come in luxury cars, mostly in the evening. The cars were usually white in colour, but on some days black and red cars also arrived at our shelter home and took away girls, who were above the age of 15. The girls used to return in the wee hours and sob endlessly. Some of them were even sent to nearby houses to take up cleaning and washing tasks,” the girl, who hails from Bihar’s Bettiah, said.

Confirming the minor’s allegations, Police Superintendent Rohan P Kanay said, “Twenty-four girls were rescued on Sunday from the shelter home at station road in the name of Ma Vindhyawasini Mahila Prakishan evam Samaj Sewa Sansthan, which has 42 inmates. Eighteen inmates are still missing. We have sealed it.”

Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi, who operated the shelter home, and its superintendent Kanchanlata have been arrested.

Another girl, who was rescued on Monday, revealed that the girls who were forcibly sent away were given between Rs 500 and Rs 1500 to keep their mouth shut.

“Minor girls were sent by madam (Girija Tripathi) with the senior girls to Gorakhpur in a car. At times, madam also used to accompany the girls herself. The girls were taken to a room in Gorakhpur for ‘wrong work’,” she told News18.

The girls used to go by backdoor and they used to come back next morning around 6am, she said, adding that the girls were asked to get “dressed properly before going out for wrong work.”

The 10-year-old girl told police that she was handed over to the shelter home by her grandparents after her mother passed away and her father remarried.

“The entire matter will be investigated and the local administration is already taking action. The Women and Child Development Department is also coordinating. The inquiry will be done under proper legal procedure,” ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said Lucknow.

The medical test of the children would be carried out by a woman doctor and their statement would be recorded before a magistrate, Kumar said.

Prime accused Girija Tripathi has refuted the charges, saying that the girls will now speak whatever is spoon-fed to them by police.

“The girls are now in police custody, they will speak whatever will be told to them. The police found all the girls whose names were in the register at the time of raid. The recognition of the shelter home is not done away with, it has been just suspended and the matter is in the court,” she said.

UP women and child welfare minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that CM Yogi Adityanath has sent a two-member high level committee to Deoria for the investigation. “They will stay there and submit a report, following which action will be taken,” she said.

The incident has drawn sharp reaction from the opposition parties, who have demanded CBI probe into the matter. The parties said that if the investigation is conducted under the aegis of state government, then the matter will be “diluted”.

Criticising the Yogi Adityanath government, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said, “The incident makes it clear that BJP-ruled states have no law and order. The issue of women' safety is of least concern for the BJP. Such kind of rackets are not possible without any backing from the government. Government officials who are responsible for this should be dealt with strictly.”

She added, “The BJP government should definitely remember the time of BSP rule when a woman was paraded naked in Allahabad's village and the SSP, the only senior officer of the district, was suspended. Such incidents will not stop occurring unless some strict action is taken against the culprits. After such an incident in Bihar, the UP government should have been on alert but the government kept sleeping.”
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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