Deoria: Twenty-four girls were rescued from a shelter home in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, after an allegation of their sexual exploitation came to light, the police said on Monday.

Girija Tripathi and her husband Mohan Tripathi, who operated the shelter home, and its superintendent Kanchanlata were arrested.

"Twenty-four girls were recused from the shelter home by the name of Ma Vindhyawasini Mahila Prakishan Evam Samaj Sewa Sansthan, which has 42 inmates. 18 inmates are still missing. We have sealed it," said Rohan P Kanay, Superintendent of Police.

The activities at the shelter home came to the fore when a girl managed to flee from there. She reached a police station and informed them about the plight of the inmates.

"Many times white, black and red cars used to come and take away the girls. When they returned in the morning, they used to cry," the girl alleged.

Kanay was directed by the UP police headquarters in Lucknow to take stern action against the culprits.

"The entire matter will be investigated and the local administration is already taking action. The Women and Child Development Department are also coordinating. The inquiry will be done under the proper legal procedure," said Anand Kumar, ADG Law and Order.

The medical test of the children would be carried out by a female doctor and their statements would be recorded before a magistrate, Kumar said.

The alleged sexual abuse of young girls at a state-funded shelter-home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur recently came to light, following which 14 officials were suspended on account of their ‘negligence and dereliction of duty’ after a massive public outcry and opposition attack.