Deoria: Girija and Mohan Tripathi have become the talk of the town after the Police recently rescued 24 girls from this shelter home run by this couple in UP’s Deoria.
The police recently rescued 24 girls from the two-story building on Monday amid allegations of a sex racket, while the neighbors never suspected anything of this kind thriving in the locality where the couple was always reserved and Police men kept visiting this place.
“Police frequented this place which made it hard to believe that all these things are happening inside,” said Mridul Pandey a government school teacher, who owns a house nearby.
“Entry at the shelter was closely guarded and I have never seen any of the girl outside unattended,” said Kamal Kant Singh, another local resident.
The couple is reported to have quickly became rich according to the locals in the area, after she registered a non-government organization (NGO) and started this home shelter some eight years ago.
Girija used to run a stitching and embroidery centre but is reported to own property and flats in the area.
“Her days changed overnight when she opened this shelter house by registering an NGO. She amassed huge wealth in the last eight years and developed links with political people and VIPs,” said Raghuvendra Gupta, a grocery shop owner in the area.
According to the locals, despite the shelter home located near the railway station with hotels running around, a small gate of the building which opened on the deserted road often had many cars parked around the corner.
“Every other day, a swanky car could be seen stationed outside but we thought she had a good image and so people would visit her,” said a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Ashish Gupta.
“Cars and vehicles of all kinds pass through this area frequently. I have also seen cars standing near the small gate of the building,” said Kamal Kant.
The arrests of Girija, her husband, Mohan, and five others were followed after a 10-year-old escaped the shelter home only to reach the Police station by jumping off the boundary wall.
Now a two-member inquiry has been established after Girija denied the charges alleging that officials have framed her for demanding pending payments from officials. The government has also suspended the district magistrate.
When ADM finance Sita Ram Gupta was asked about these allegations made by Girija, he said, “This is a subject of investigation and we are looking into each such aspects. A government-level probe is also underway.”