VARANASI: In a scandal similar to the one in a Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar + , 24 young women were rescued from a in ‘s after allegations by the inmates came to light, police here said on Monday.

Police also arrested two persons, including the home‘s director Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi.

A many as 18 girls are still missing and the shelter home has been sealed, reported news agency PTI.

The arrested couple, Mohan and Girija Tripathi

Superintendent of police (SP) Rohan P Kanay said that the matter came to light when a 10-year-old girl, a native of Betia (Bihar), escaped from the shelter home and narrated her ordeal to the police. The police took action after the girl informed the police that all the inmates were being treated like servants. She also said that cars came to pick up girls above 15 years of age and the girls came back crying the next day.

“Twenty-four girls were rescued yesterday 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,” said Kanay.

The license of the shelter home was also revoked following an inspection by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and its director.

Taking serious note of the lapses on the part of the district administration in handling complaints against the shelter home for women, UP chief minister Adityanath is learnt to have directed the officials to remove the district magistrate of Deoria, Sujit Kumar.

The Deoria SP has been directed by the UP Police Headquarters in Lucknow to take stern action against the culprits.

“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 in Lucknow.

The medical test of the children would be done by a doctor and their statements recorded before a magistrate, said Anand.

“The recognition of the NGO was revoked one year back, and funds were stopped. We will probe how it was functioning till now and see who is responsible for this,” said UP women and child development minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

“The then district probation officer (DPO) Abhishek Pandey has been suspended and a departmental probe ordered against the two other officers.

“Additional Chief Secretary Renuka Kumar and ADG (Women Cell) Anju Gupta have been rushed to Deoria and they have been asked to submit their report by tonight,” Joshi said.

“The CM has sent a two-member high level committee to Deoria for the investigation. They will stay there today and submit a report, following which action will be taken,” she added.

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

However Tripathi told reporters that the charges were baseless and payment of last three years was pending, so she was running the shelter home.

The SP Deoria was directed by the UP Police Headquarters in Lucknow to take stern action against the culprits.

“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 in Lucknow.

The medical test of the children would be made by a woman doctor and the statement recorded before a magistrate, Anand said.

The matter comes in the backdrop of the alleged sexual abuse of young girls at a state-funded shelter home in Bihar‘s which led to a public outcry. Sexual abuse of 34 inmates out of 42 was confirmed in medical examination.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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