The Uttar Pradesh police women’s cell had earlier reported a case of sex trafficking of young girls in a Deoria Shelter Home. An 11-YO girl, amongst the victims at the Maa Vindhyavasini Mahila and Balika Sanrakshan Griha in UP’s Deoria district, managed to escape and report to the police their condition in the shelter home. She had also mentioned that the owner of the shelter home, Girija Tripathi, drugged the victims before sending them to her customers for sexual activities.

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As TOI reported, the girl in her statement to the police said “Hum logo ko ladko ke paas bhejne se pehle humko koi dawa khilati thi. Unka kehna tha iss dawa se tumko dard nahi hoga.” The girl made it clear in her statement that the owner drugged them before sending them to the guests. Another 13-YO victim mentioned that Girija warned them to stay away from the police and to fight them if they asked any questions. She asked the girls to have fun with the guests.

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Reportedly, one of the nine girls was married off to a blind man in the exchange of a large sum of money which was given to Girija. She even took Rs 5,000 of the Rs 35,000 subsidy per wedding, which is a state government scheme under the women and child welfare department.

The girls who were rescued from the shelter home also complained about the poor state of living in the home. They were deprived of basic facilities and were forced to do all the household chores without fail. The poor quality of food and corporal punishments given over small mistakes were some of the concerns expressed by the girls in their statement.

The Deoria police arrested the couple who ran the shelter home and also rescued more than 20 victims.

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After the Allahabad High Court took suo moto cognizance of the atrocities, a Special Investigation Team was formed to further initiate a probe into the case. Young girls were forced to marry specially abled old age men at a cost. The money was totally acquired by the owners and the girls were sold to these men to marry. A TOI report also said that funds from UP chief minister’s mass marriage scheme were also used during these marriages that took place between 2017 to 2018.

A shelter home that is supposed to help young women, who are deprived of a family, in fact, indulges in sex trafficking and exploitation at this level. It’s a shame on humanity to put a price on a person and undertake these kinds of activities. This is an apt example of the devil disguised as god.

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