Deoria: The police on Tuesday found an inmate from the Deoria shelter home, from where 24 girls were rescued and 18 appeared missing on Sunday night, at an old age home run by the same NGO in Gorakhpur. "A 21-year-old woman has been recovered from the old age home in Rani Diha area of Gorakhpur. As per the entry in the register, she was brought here on August 5," additional district magistrate Prabhu Nath said. He said this was illegal as the place was a shelter meant for the elderly.
"She is in a state of shock and her statement will be taken after a medico-legal examination," he said. One of the girls rescued from the Deoria shelter home on Sunday had said that girls from there were taken to Gorakhpur, where one of them was sent inside a room with two men.
The old age home in Gorakhpur was being run by the Ma Vindhyavasini NGO for the last 30 years, its clerk Ankit Mishra said. When the NGO's affiliation with state administration was cancelled in June 2017, the organisation secured a stay from the high court, he said, arguing that the home continued to be legal.
Ma Vindhyavasini NGO's manager Girija Devi's widowed daughter Kanaklata, her four-year-old granddaughter and Ankit Mishra also live in the old age home.
District magistrate Vijyendra Pandiyan and SSP Shalabh Mathur inspected the home after getting information about the woman. Meanwhile, the superintendent of the Deoria shelter home Kanchanlata Tripathi, who was on the run, was arrested in Deoria, SP Rohan P Kanay said.
Police had earlier sealed the Deoria shelter home and the rescued girls are being temporarily kept at a government-run shelter. Investigating officer Vijay Singh Gaur said they will be shifted to shelters in Gorakhpur, Ballia and Varanasi. So far, officials are keeping the medical reports of the girls confidential.
Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi were sent to judicial custody on Monday. On Sunday, police rescued 24 girls from the Deoria shelter after a 10-year-old escaped from there and went to the police. The Deoria case has surfaced amid the outrage over the alleged sexual abuse at a shelter for girls at Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
The UP Police began investigating the possibility of sexual abuse in the Deoria case after the escaped girl told them that some girls used to be taken away in cars from the shelter, and brought back the next day. Kanchanlata Tripathi denied that 18 girls are missing from the Deoria shelter.
She has told police that there were only 24 girls at the shelter home. Police have video recorded the statements of the rescued girls. Their statements will also be recorded before a magistrate, an official said.
A child protection scheme counsellor and a 181 women's helpline counsellor, Sandhaya Singh and Malamani Tripathi, have talked with the rescued girls, Superintendent of Rajkiya Bal Grih, Yashodanand Tiwari said.