The Gorakhpur administration on Tuesday evening traced one of the women reported missing from the Deoria shelter to an old age home in the temple town. Both homes are allegedly run by the same NGO.
Police detained five staff members from the old age home including Kanaklata Tripathi, the elder daughter of Girija Tripathi, who was arrested Monday along with her husband after 24 girls were rescued from a Deoria shelter they operated following allegations of abuse.
On the basis of a tip-off, a team of police and district administration raided the premises in Gorakhpur and rescued a 21-year-old woman. Sources said she belonged to a poor family in Bihar, and reached the Deoria shelter home after her father’s death, and was subsequently sent to Gorakhpur.
District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, K Vijyendra Pandian said that while the name of the woman matched one on the list of 18 who were missing from the shelter home, her statement and that of the owner did not match. Following this, the five staff members were handed over to Deoria police.
Initial investigation showed that the licence of the old age home had been cancelled in 2017. Three very ill senior citizens were also found at the home, and were sent to hospital for treatment.
“We got information that the same organisation once ran an old age home in our district as well. When we visited the place, there was nothing that indicated that it was an old age home…,” Pandiyan told The Indian Express.
He added, “The old age home did not have any permission. When asked about the woman, the owner claimed that she had been brought for medical treatment. However, when we asked the woman, she said she had been brought to cook food there.”