New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that rapes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh shelter homes are “sad and shameful” and assured that steps would be taken to prevent recurrence of such acts and that no culprit would escape action.
“I direct the ministry concerned to issue advisories to all states so that no such incident is repeated. Running shelter homes can be investigated,” Singh assured the opposition.
“Whatever happened in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is sad and shameful,” he said during the Question Hour.
However, there was again an uproar after the Union Minister praised and congratulated Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government for taking “concrete steps” after the Deoria shelter home crime surfaced.
“He (Adityanath) called a meeting of all the officers and directed them to take strict action. No culprit will escape action The District Planning Officer was suspended and the managers of the shelter home were arrested,” Rajnath Singh said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said: “The issue is being raised in the House consecutively for three days, let us have a parliamentary panel to inspect and submit a report.”
Kharge also asked the Speaker to set up a House Committee to probe the incidents.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party staged a walkout after the Home Minister’s statement, demanding an impartial probe into both Deoria and Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said: “These incidents are very unfortunate. All the concerned members should take appropriate action on such incidents in their constituencies. But, don’t do politics on the matter.”
Samajwadi Party member Dharmendra Yadav said “strict action should be taken against the culprits” and a probe should be initiated. He also said that he does not want to play politics on the issue.
He later said that the Home Minister’s act of congratulating Adityanath for his efforts to take action in the Deoria case is “unfortunate and condemnable”.
RJD member Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav also spoke on the issue.
Both shelter home horrors sparked a political storm in Parliament after the cases revealed sordid tales of women being abused at these places.
A total of 24 girls were rescued from the shelter home in Deoria late on Sunday after one of them told the police that they were being sexually abused.
Officials told IANS that 18 girls were missing from the privately-run shelter home which earlier got funds from the government. Its affiliation to the Women and Child Welfare Department was cancelled in 2017 after a CBI probe revealed some discrepancies.
At least 34 minor girls were raped at the Muzaffarpur shelter home. The crime came to light in July when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR on the basis of a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.