The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will probe into the allegations of abuse and sexual assault that surfaced at a shelter home, ‘Maa Vindhyavasini’, in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday, 7 August.
Speaking at a press conference, Adityanath said that a Special Investigation Team is also being set up under ADG Crime.
The CBI had said that there were financial irregularities here in 2015-16. When we came to power in 2017, we ordered its closure. District administration did not act on time, so DM was transferred, and today we have decided to chargesheet him.UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh police detained the daughter of the managers, who were arrested on 5 August. The shelter home, owned and run by Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan, was also sealed on 6 August after the police raided and found 18 of the 42 girl inmates missing.
At least 24 girls were rescued from the shelter home by the police on 5 August, coming close on the heels of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.
A 10-year-old girl, who is originally from the Bettiah district of Bihar, had escaped from the shelter home and reached the Women Police Station where she revealed that after 4 pm, people would come in their cars and take girls from the shelter and they would only return late in the night.
The manager of the shelter home Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan were arrested after they could not give satisfactory answers about the whereabouts of the missing girls. A case has been registered under various sections related to human trafficking, flesh trade and child labour.Rohan P Kanai, Superintendent of Police
Girija Tripathi, however, told reporters that the charges were baseless.
The SP, on the other hand, said the registration of the shelter home was suspended in June 2017 on the report of irregularities found by the CBI, and the administration gave an order to shift all the inmates from there.
“But the manager was running the home and told us that the high court has given a stay. When she was not able to show the court order, the administration sent a team to the shelter home to shift the girls, but the manager did not cooperate,” he said.
Probed Fund Allocation, Not Management: CBI
However, CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said the agency did not visit any NGO or specific shelter home in Deoria as it was beyond the mandate of its inquiry.
He said the agency’s inquiry was limited to looking into funds allocation and financial misappropriation, if any.
CBI officials said that on the directions of Allahabad High Court in 2017, the agency has done an inquiry looking into the financial irregularities and misdemeanour of shelter homes running across Uttar Pradesh.
The officials said managers of all such NGOs were called by the CBI to present their financial records.
In the process, a manager of the Deoria NGO was also called to present records during the questioning, they said.
The agency has submitted two reports in the High Court but no preliminary enquiry or FIR was registered by the agency in this connection, they said.
Yogi Adityanath Orders Deoria DM to be Removed
Etah DM Amit Kishore has been appointed as the DM of Deoria, replacing Sujit Kumar who has been removed from his post on Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath’s orders.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Women and Child Welfare Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said the chief minister has ordered a two-member high level committee to be sent to Deoria for the investigation. She asserted that further action will be taken after the committee submits a report.
It’ll be investigated. The concerned district administration is already taking action in this regard. Women and Child Development Ministry is also looking into the matter. The children will be sent for medical examination. Truth will be brought out.Anand Kumar, ADG (law & order) to ANI
Opposition Attacks Yogi Govt
Meanwhile, the incident gave fresh ammunition to the opposition parties to attack the Yogi Adityanath-led government.
While the Congress demanded a CBI probe into the incident, the Samajwadi Party alleged that the present government was not serious about the issue of women.
“The entire matter should be probed by the CBI. A probe by the central agency should be immediately ordered. Such an incident shows that government is not doing its job seriously,” Congress leader Ashok Singh said.
SP leader and MLC Udayveer Singh said the incident showed “insensitiveness” of the government towards women.
“Why is the chief minister shying away from taking action against lax officers? Who is saving such officers? Immediate action is needed on such issues to give a strong message,” Singh said.
Speaking on the Deoria and the Muzaffarpur incidents, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi told ANI, “It’s not only frightening, it makes me sad. I know there will be many more because for years and years, we’ve paid no attention, apart from giving them money.”
(With inputs from PTI)
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