UP shelter homes: Will CBI probe uncover larger sex racket?

PTI8_7_2018_000332B UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Women and Child Welfare Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi addresses a press conference to recommend CBI probe into the Deoria shelter home case, in Lucknow | PTI

After the heat of the Deoria shelter home scandal, startling facts are coming to the light as probe has been going on in other shelter homes of the state. Twenty six women were found missing in a shelter home from Pratapgarh district, after a raid conducted by the district magistrate, Shambhu Kumar, yesterday. When the raid was conducted, the magistrate and his team found only one woman there.

The shelter home situated in Ashtbhuj Nagar of the district was being run by one Rama Mishra, who has been head of the district's women cell of the BJP and a municipal corporation member.

In another shelter home in Pilibhit district of UP, many anomalies like bungling of finance and missing women came to the light after a raid by the district magistrate. Around 23 women were found missing from this shelter home. A probe is being conducted into the matter. Yet in case of another shelter home in Hardoi district of UP, superintendent of the shelter home Aarti Kumari has been sent jail on the charges of mishandling money and missing girls. Here too,19 girls were found missing.

It is an open secret that these missing girls in most of the cases become an easy means in the mighty flesh trade racket.

After the Deoria shelter home scandal, a furious Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had sought a report from all shelter homes functioning in the state. Once the probe began, huge discrepencies started coming to light.

Meanwhile, the UP High Court has taken a very serious note of the Deoria scandal, and has decided to monitor investigation of the scandal. The court has taken self cognizance of the matter and has asked the state government details of the people who seem to be facilitating a sex racket. The court has directed the government to furnish all details in this regard on August 13.

The matter is being heard by the bench of two judges comprising chief justice D.B Bhosle and justice Yashwant Verma. The court has also asked for details of when government aid was stopped, when was the shelter home black listed; and if why were the girls continued to be sent there.

There is a strong possibility that as the CBI probe progresses, many influential people will be exposed.