Every evening, a group of people used to a visit a shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria and take away girls lodged there. When the girls returned the next morning, they would be crying.
This is what a 10-year-old who fled the shelter home has revealed about the goings on there. After the 10-year-old approached the police, authorities raided the shelter home and rescued 24 girls who were lodged there. 18 other inmates remain missing.
Three people have been arrested over allegations of the sexual exploitation, which come against the backdrop of the horrific Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case where more than 30 women were raped or sexually abused.
The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered the removal of Deoria District Magistrate Sujit Kumar. The state’s Women and Child Welfare Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi also said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set up a two-member committee to probe the allegations of sexual exploitation at the Deoria shelter home.
The case came to light after a 10-year-old girl fled the shelter home and approached a women’s police station. In her statements to the police, the 10-year-old revealed how girls were taken away from the shelter home every evening.
“Many times white, black and red cars used to come and take away the girls. When the returned in the morning, they used to cry,” the girl told the police.
Meanwhile, police officers have indicated that the shelter home may have defying government orders by remaining in operation.
The SP of Deoria was quoted by news agency PTI as saying that the registration of the shelter home was suspended in June 2017 due to irregularities found by the CBI.
“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,” the SP was quoted as saying.
(With inputs from Nelanshu Shukla in Lucknow and agencies)