Deoria police have booked five officials of the district’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) including its former chairman for criminal conspiracy and other charges in connection with alleged sexual exploitation of the inmates of a local shelter home. The Deoria CWC, which had been operational since 2015, was dissolved on August 7 after the shelter home case came to light when a minor inmate managed to escape from the premises. The owner of the shelter home, Girija Tripathi, her husband and daughter, were arrested after police rescued 23 inmates.
Rajveer Singh Yadav, station house officer (SHO) of City Kotwali police station, said the FIR was registered on Thursday under IPC sections 166 (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and sections of the Juvenile Justice Act. Those booked are CWC former chairman Srikant Yadav and members Kaushal Kishore, Kanaklata Dwivedi, Ranjana Tiwari and Pratibha Srivastava.
When contacted, District Probation Officer (DPO) Prabhat Kumar, on whose police complaint the FIR was registered, said, “I am not aware of the contents of the FIR and charges levelled against the CWC officials. I had received a letter from the UP Women Welfare Directorate directing to lodge an FIR against the five CWC staff. I just forwarded it to the City Kotwali police station.”
SP (City), Ganesh Prasad Saha and Circle Officer, City, Dayaram Singh remained tight-lipped about the charges faced by the CWC officials.
Deputy Chief Probation officer, UP Women Welfare Directorate in Lucknow, Puneet Kumar Mishra, said, “A letter based on the inquiry report prepared by Additional Chief Secretary (women and child development) Renuka Kumar, was sent to the Deoria district administration recently with a direction to decide the next course of action. We also considered the report of Deoria’s district magistrate, which was sent soon after the allegations surfaced.”
He further said, “The reports said that the then CWC did not perform its responsibilities and there was gross negligence on their part. The license of the NGO running the shelter homes was cancelled in 2016-2017 and despite that, inmates were being sent there. The NGO was running two more shelter homes and their licenses were were cancelled. The report also stated that despite cancellation, these homes were getting inmates as well.”
“The Deoria CWC did not inform its counterpart in the neighbouring district, following which children and women were being sent to these shelter homes. It was also found that the CWC did not make its mandatory two visits per month to the shelter home,” said Mishra, who is presently also holding charge of the post of director of the UP Women Welfare Directorate.
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