Lucknow, UP Aug 7: Though admitting that there were some lapse on the part of the local authorities in the Deoria shelter home controversy, Uttar Pradesh women and child welfare minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi blamed the previous Samajwadi Party(SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) governments in the state for the irregular activities in these shelter homes.
"After the BJP government came to power in 2017, recognition of all the illegal shelter homes run by the NGOs have been cancelled which were mostly opened during the SP and BSP rule," she said.
Further blaming the SP government for the irregularities in the shelter homes, the minister disclosed that the Child Welfare Committees in all the districts are represented by the SP leaders and they were authorised to check the activities of these shelter homes.
" In the Deoria case, one of the Committee member Pratibha Srivastava was once the active member of the NGO Ma Vindyavasini ,who were running the shelter home," she said while adding that these committee members were appointed on the fag end of the SP government by the Allahabad High Court. She said that the government has already initiated action against 70 such committee members for their illegal activities.
The Child welfare committee members are slated to inspect the shelter homes at least 20 times in a month and the member gets Rs 1500 per visit. " The SP has no moral right to hold agitation over the Deoria issue, as it was their fault which led to the controversy even as the BJP government was doing everything to rectify it," she said.
She also hinted that of the 20 girls found in the Deoria shelter home, 10 were reported to be adult while in the medical examination sexual assault on some girls have been detected.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Ms Joshi admitted that the role of the Deoria police and other officials are being scrutinized by a high level team comprising Additional chief secretary( women and child welfare) Renuka Kumar and ADG( women protection) Anju Gupta.
“Reports from all the districts as per the directive of the CM would reach here by this afternoon and at 6 pm, Yogi Adityanath had summoned us to his office for a detailed discussion and the action to be taken against the erring officials and others," she said. Talking about the Deoria incident, the minister said that her department had sent at least 15 letters to the concerned officials for closing the shelter home while the DPO had issued 11 letters for the same.
“We are also investigating how the police was sending the children to the shelter home when it was ordered closure in June 2017 and the whereabouts of the missing girls," she said with claiming that during the counting of the children at Deoria shelter home it was found that there are 20 girls and 3 boys there and rest missing as the owner claimed that there were 42 children. " The authorities have conducted the medical examination of all the children and statement have been recorded from them," she said. Ms Joshi , claiming that the government will do whatever required for punishing the guilty people after going for a transparent probe, said that the government is also ready for a third party inspection of all the shelter homes. She also said that CM has suggested that the shelter homes should be run by the government and it should only be opened at the divisional headquarters.
She also said that the government was very critical on awarding any scheme to the NGOs and against the application from 70 organisation, the government has only given schemes to 5 renowned NGOs to work in the state. (UNI)