DEORIA, UTTARTwenty four girls have been rescued from a women’s shelter in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria district amid allegations of sexual and physical abuse. Fifteen girls are still missing and the couple who ran the shelter have been arrested. The matter came to light when a 10-year-old girl escaped from the shelter and told the cops that “red, white, black cars picked girls at night and dropped them in the morning”.
The police raided the shelter last night and took them away. Girija Tripathi, her husband Mohan Tripathi and their daughter were arrested and the shelter was sealed.
The girls have been sent for medical examination and their statement will be recorded before a magistrate, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said. “The Women and Child Development Department is also coordinating. The inquiry will be done under proper legal procedure,” he said.
The privately run shelter in Deoria, about 300 km from Lucknow, earlier received funds from the government, but its affiliation was cancelled in 2017 following a nationwide enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which found irregularities in its functioning.
However, the couple continued to run it without necessary persmission. When a police team went to inspect the shelter last week, the duo misbehaved and turned them away. A First Information Report or an FIR was filed against them.
Girija Tripathi, her husband Mohan Tripathi ran the shelter without permission
Last night, the girl ran away from the shelter and locals took her to the police station where she narrated her ordeal and that of girls between the ages of 15 and 18, who she alleged were being forced to engage in sexual activities and work as servants by the couple.
“The girl who escaped had been staying at the home for the last three years. She said they treated her like a servant. She also told us many girls were taken away in cars at night.