An enquiry team consisting of Dr. Nidhi Misra of SMS, Utpala Shukla, GS Ald PUCL, Prabha of GKMS, Social Activist Susheel Manav and NBS leader Pawan Yadav visited Deoria on August 13 and reached the following conclusions, according to a media release:
- The owner of the Shelter Home, Girija Tripathi gave no importance to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). She made them sign on necessary documents without allowing any inspection. She kept more than the sanctioned number of girls, prevented the girls from being released even after her sanction had been revoked. Due to her contacts with politicians and in the administration she had no fear of the administration and police and even after the Shelter Home being black listed in 2017 she was able to obtain 5 government schemes. She is an extremely powerful and corrupt lady.
- The supervision and work style of the police and administration, including the DM, DPO, DCPO and SP has been faulty and suspect and there was no adherence to legal requirements; no concern was shown for the security and welfare of the inmates; there was utter disregard towards exploitation of the inmates; it is highly suggestive of their involvement in this; they continuously ignored the CWC which was not even provided with essential facilities.
- Even after the license of the Shelter Home was revoked more than 100 inmates were registered in it, while all existing inmates should have been shifted out to a safe place.
- The Shelter Home was managed with a lot of irregularities. It did not fulfill the requirements of the “Child Care Institution” as defined under the JJ act 2015; the Sudhar Greh and Child Adoption Centre also were opened at the same place; it kept more inmates than was permissible; boys and girls were being kept under the same roof; there was no regular medical examination or education of inmates; they were not provided adequate nutritious food, oil, soap and other provisions; they were made to do household work like cleaning utensils in Maa Vindhyavasini Home and elsewhere; the police took them out at night in vehicles, which creates suspicion of flesh trade; the adoption process was conducted illegally.
- CWC functioned merely as a rubber stamp and did not enforce its legal rights. They signed without even examining/ interviewing the girls.
- The government allowed these irregularities. Also legal requirements in the appointment of the DPO and Child Welfare Committee were not followed; Girija Tripathi was awarded a number of government projects and undue importance in government functions. The State government and Director Women’s Welfare Department, Renuka Kumar for past six years did not even come to know of these irregularities.
- Possibilities of sexual exploitation and flesh trade are high as evidenced by the natural vulnerability of the inmates; the continued operation after license cancellation; the statement of the girl who had escaped about the coming of vehicles and police, etc. It also indicates involvement of officials.
- There are serious loopholes in the provisions of law as in the JJ (Child Care and Protection) Act 2015 there is no specific mention of protecting the male / female child against sexual exploitation, sexual violence and flesh trade.
The team recommends:
- Investigation by a bench headed by a Retired Judge of the High Court, which should include persons reputed to be Child Rights Specialist, an advocate of the Supreme Court or High Court and a Social Scientist. Report in a time bound manner.
- All incidents of adoption of children in last 5 years should be enquired.
- Charges of flesh trade and sexual exploitation should include recording statement of all the inmates in a secure environment; medical examinations and filing of FIRs against all the accused and those having connived and protected them. All should be arrested immediately. The matter should be treated as custodial rape.
- The role of all officials involved, including past and present state and district officials should be determined and fixed.
- Special provision be made in JJ Act for protecting the male / female children against sexual exploitation, sexual violence and flesh trade.
- Release a White Paper on the facilities provided and Rights and violation in the Shelter Homes of the state.
- Declare a package for the rehabilitation, job oriented education and jobs for all the victims.
The full report is available and a copy shall be sent to the UP government through the Commissioner Allahabad, the release added.
©Different Truths News Service
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