Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday ordered a high-level probe into the Deoria shelter home rape case after around 24 girls were rescued from the Ma Vindhyawasini Mahila Prakishan Evam Samaj Sewa Sansthan in the district.
He has also set up a committee comprising Additional Director General (women helpline) Anju Gupta and additional chief secretary (women's welfare) Renuka Kumar to immediately visit Deoria and present before the government its interim report by Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh: 24 rescued from shelter home in Deoria after escaped girl shares plight; CM seeks report
Besides this, the government has also ordered the immediate removal of Deoria District Magistrate Sujit Kumar, UP Minister for Women and Child Welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi told reporters in Lucknow.
She said Adityanath has sent a high-level probe team to Deoria for on-the-spot inquiry. The chief minister has asked the probe team to prepare report by Monday night itself.
"Besides this, 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The minister said that the recognition of the NGO was revoked one year back and funds were stopped.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," she said.
"The probe will be unbiased and strict action will be taken against the guilty. The probe team will talk to inmates and take into account their ordeal while preparing the report," she said.
Earlier on Sunday, at least 24 girls were rescued from a shelter home in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh. Eighteen inmates are still missing. The police have sealed the shelter home and arrested three people, including a couple who ran the shelter.
The matter comes in the backdrop of the alleged sexual abuse of young girls at a state-funded shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur which led to a public outcry. Sexual abuse of 34 inmates out of 42 was confirmed in medical examination.
The details of activities at the shelter home emerged when a 10-year-old girl managed to flee from there. She reached a woman police station and informed them about the plight of the inmates.
"Many times white, black and red cars used to come and take away the girls. When the returned in the morning, they used to cry," the girl alleged.
"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.
Meanwhile, the incident gave fresh ammunition to the opposition parties to attack the Yogi Adityanath-led government.
Both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party demanded a CBI probe into the incident.
"The entire matter should be probed by the CBI. A probe by the central agency should be immediately ordered. Such an incident shows that government is not doing its job seriously," Congress leader Ashok Singh said.
SP leader and MLC Sunil Yadav said the incident showed "insensitiveness" of the government towards women and demanded a CBI probe.
"Why is the chief minister shying from taking action against lax officers. Who is saving such officers? Immediate action is needed on such issues to give a strong message," he posed.
The Samajwadi Party leader alleged that the present government not serious about the issues of women.