Nine girls from a Delhi shelter home went missing in the intervening night between December 1 and 2 from Sanskaar Ashram in northeast district's Dilshad Garden.
An FIR has been filed at the GTB police station.
Their disappearance was discovered on Sunday morning when attendance was taken at the home. Of the missing women, eight were between 18 and 20 years of age and one was a minor. An FIR has been filed for the minor as well. "The other girls are above the age of 18 and a missing complaint has been lodged for them. The investigation is in progress," DCP (Shahdara) Meghna Yadav told Times of India.
The nine women were reported to be human traffickers who were transferred from another shelter at Dwarka.
Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has ordered a probe to look into the disappearance. Sisodia also ordered the suspension of the district official and the superintendent of the shelter home.
Swati Maliwal, chief of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) wrote to Sisodia asking the deputy chief minister to get the girls back as well as take immediate action against concerned authorities. She reportedly came to know of the disappearances from a local.
"The lapse of the home authorities in securing the place is extremely serious. These nine girls were transferred from a shelter home in Dwarka on May 4 on the orders of a child welfare committee. They were victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The possibility of the traffickers or brothel owners kidnapping them in connivance with the shelter home authorities needs to be investigated in detail," an official from the DCW was quoted saying.
The Sanskaar Ashram is no stranger to controversy. An official of the DCW said that a child with hearing disabilities was subjected to severe abuse by the superintendent of the shelter home in the past. The DCW had to intervene and put a stop to it.
"Since cruelty to children is a cognizable offence under section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, the commission issued a notice to the department of women and child development and Delhi police enquiring about the reasons for non-registration of an FIR as prescribed under Rule 54(2) of the Juvenile Justice Rules, 2016 on each of the complaints," said the DCW official.