26 women ‘missing’ from 2 Pratapgarh shelter homes
Even as the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Deoria shelter home scandal failed
to trace out the missing girls, another ‘horror home’ surfaced in Pratapgarh where 26 girls were found missing, making it the third case of its kind in Uttar Pradesh.
In Hardoi, where 19 women were found to be missing from a shelter home, the administration heaved a sigh of relief after investigation revealed that bogus names were written in the inmates’ register to get more government grant.
In Pratapgarh, a team led by District Magistrate Shambhu Kumar raided shelter homes in Achalpur and Ashtabhuja Nagar on Wednesday night and found 26 girl inmates missing along with other discrepancies.
Later, the Achalpur Centre run by Indrajeet Singh was closed down. However, at the shelter home in Ashtabhuja Nagar, its owner Rama Mishra, who is a BJP leader, claimed to have produced the missing girls.
The District Magistrate told media persons on Thursday that the girls were not missing but “absent” and the owners of the shelter homes were asked to produce them.
“We are probing the matter and if something fishy is found, we will register FIR against them,” the District Magistrate said.
As per reports, during inspection of Jagrati Shelter Home run by former district chief of BJP Mahila Morcha, Rama Mishra, in Ashtabhuja Nagar, the DM found that 15 women were registered but only one was present. The shelter home manager said that the other women inmates had gone out for work.
However, the shelter home did not have any record of inmates going out of the home and returning nor did it have any CCTV camera.
While inspecting another shelter home in Achalpur, sub-divisional magistrate Satya Prakash Singh found 12 of the 15 women inmates missing.
Caretaker of the home, Neha Praveen, said that they were not getting external funding and the shelter home was being run from their personal resources.
Interestingly, the team returned and later in the night, again conducted raids but till then the missing inmates had not returned.
The DM later said that 26 women were found missing and a probe was on in the matter.
Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar ‘Lallu’ sought clarification from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on whether the DM of Deoria, Sujeet Kumar, was suspended or not.
“During a press conference, the CM, while announcing a CBI probe into the Deoria shelter home case, had said that the DM of Deoria has been charge-sheeted. But the CM did not clarify whether the DM was suspended or not,” the Congress leader said.
“I am surprised as to how an officer can be charge-sheeted in such a heinous crime and not be suspended,” Lallu said, asking the CM to confirm if the charge-sheet was handed over after suspension or not.
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