Shelter home: accused enjoyed 'bureaucratic patronage'

Shelter home: accused enjoyed 'bureaucratic patronage'

Samajwadi Party activists display placards and raise slogans against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a protest over the recent Deoria shelter home incident, in Allahabad. PTI photo

The main accused in the Deoria women's shelter home abuse Girija Tripathi was able to thwart attempts to close it down after the cancellation of its licence owing to "bureaucratic patronage".

According to sources here, initial probe into the matter has revealed that Girija's NGO Maa Vindhyavasini Women's Training and Welfare Organisation not only received help from the district officials but many of them were also associated with her organisation.

A former director of the Uttar Pradesh Minorities Financial Corporation claimed that the wives of some senior district officials were members of Girija's NGO.

"The officials of different departments extended every help to the NGO... the wives and relatives of many of them were members of Girija's organisation," he said.

Girija was also a regular at the official functions in Deoria and its adjoining Gorakhpur districts and her pictures with senior bureaucrats and politicians regularly made it to the local newspapers.

Sources also said that Girija's clout could be gauged from the fact that even after cancellation of the licence to operate the shelter home, the police continued to send the girls there.

A senior police officer, who had served in Deoria, said here that Girija had visited him at his office around a fortnight ago and had expressed her desire to meet his wife.

"This is how Girija used to rope in the wives of senior officials," remarked another district official in Deoria.

The Uttar Pradesh government has recommended a CBI probe into the allegations that a sex racket was being operated from the shelter home. The probe will be monitored by the Allahabad High Court.

A 10-year-old girl, who had managed to escape from the shelter home on Saturday, claimed that the inmates used to be sent out in private vehicles. 

As the incident evoked a strong reaction from the Opposition parties, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the removal of the district magistrate of Deoria Sujit Kumar and suspended the former probation officer of the district.

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