|Officials seal the shelter for destitute women in Jalpaiguri on Thursday|
TT, Feb. 23: The Jalpaiguri district administration today sealed Ashray, the home for destitute women run by North Bengal Peoples' Development Centre, at Debnagar on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri today.
The administration, in association with district police, shifted the remaining 15 women at the home to another home in Jalpaiguri town.
"We have received information about the home and the NGO that was running it. That is why we have shifted all the boarders to other homes and sealed it," Rachna Bhagat, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, said today.
Administrative sources said necessary permission that the NGO needed to run the home for destitute women had lapsed in March last year.
"We believe it is necessary to carry out an inquiry as to how the NGO managed to run the home and continued to keep women and even girls aged under 18 at the home even after the expiry of the permission," an official said.
Sources also revealed that the state social welfare department that had granted the status of Special Adoption Agency (SAA) to the NGO for two years till March 31, 2017, has suspended the status three days back.
|Police try to disperse BJP and Trinamul supporters.Pic: Biplab Basak|
"We have received a letter from the department, where it has been mentioned that the NGO could not furnish satisfactory replies to a showcause served on it in December last year," the source said.
Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP president, had to face protests from Trinamul supporters when he reached Jalpaiguri today. The Trinamul workers wielded black flags as Ghosh's vehicles moved through Kamarpara area of the town and shouted slogans against him.
"A woman BJP leader is an accused in the case. We demand her arrest and punishment. At this point, we feel the state BJP president has no right to hold a meeting here. That is why we have wielded black flags and protested," Souvik Chowdhury, the general secretary of Trinamul Chhatra Parishad in Jalpaiguri, said.
This led to tension as some BJP workers, waiting for Ghosh, came out. Police officials intervened and dispersed both sides.
Asked about BJP leader Juhee Chowdhury's involvement in the alleged child sale racket, Ghosh said: "We have specific information that some prominent Trinamul leaders of Jalpaiguri district and some senior government officials are involved in the case. We don't feel just because somebody's name is mentioned in a case, he or she is guilty. An investigation is in progress and on behalf of our party, we are also conducting an inquiry. If she is found guilty, we will not keep her in the party."