19 Hardoi home inmates ‘missing’.
Lucknow: The medical examination of the 24 girls rescued on Sunday night from a shelter home in Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh has confirmed that they were subjected to sexual abuse. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has recommended a CBI inquiry into the wrongdoings.
The medical report of the 24 rescued inmates confirmed that only 10 of them are adults and the rest are under 15 years of age.
The report has been handed over to a committee probing the incident and the rescued inmates are being shifted to Varanasi, an official said.
In another development, Hardoi’s district magistrate Pulkit Khare conducted a surprise check on a shelter home in Beniganj and found 19 girls, out of the 21 listed in records, missing. The shelter home superintendent was unable to provide a satisfactory answer to the DM about the missing inmates. The two inmates present in the shelter home, run by Ayesha Village Industries Committee, told Mr Khare that they had been living there for a long time and were not aware about others.
Soon after the detection of laxity, the district magistrate on Tuesday cancelled government grants for the shelter home.
On Tuesday night, the chief minister told reporters that besides recommending a CBI probe into the Deoria case he is setting up a special investigation team (SIT) to ensure that evidence is not tampered with.
Mr Adityanath said the role of some police officials would also be probed. “We have already removed the district magistrate and the district probation officer and both will be chargesheeted. We have also dissolved the child welfare committee of the district which is supposed to inspect shelter homes every month and point out irregularities,” he said.
The Deoria police, meanwhile, arrested the daughter of the shelter manager Girija Tripathi on Tuesday. Tripathi’s daughter, Kanchanlata, told reporters that she was not involved in any activities of the shelter home.
Minister for women and child welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi accused the Opposition of politicising the Deoria shelter home case and alleged that the scam had “flourished” during the SP and BSP regimes.
Addressing a press conference, Ms Joshi said that the SP and BSP governments had appointed “unfit” members to the child welfare committees. “In the Deoria case, one of the members of the child welfare committee, Pratibha Srivastava, was once the active member of the NGO Ma Vindhyavasini that was running the shelter home.