New Delhi: Eight women and a minor girl have gone missing from a state-run ashram in Delhi, said reports on Monday. The women went missing from Sanskar Ashram in Dilshad Garden on the intervening night of December 1 and 2. (Also read: Police Seal Odisha Shelter Home Amid Sexual Harassment Allegation)

The Ashram authorities have feigned ignorance as to how so many residents have disappeared.  Delhi Police have registered an FIR at GTB Enclave Police Station.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has suspended some senior officials of Women and Child Development Department.  Delhi Commission for Women’s chief Swati Maliwal has written to the Police Commissioner, seeking the case to be transferred to the Crime Branch.

The action has been taken after the matter was raised by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW). DCW is also demanding that the case be transferred to Delhi Police’s Crime Branch to ensure a high-level investigation into the matter. It demanded that the case be probed thoroughly.

Delhi Police has registered an FIR on Sunday in the matter.

Sisodia said the Department of Women and Child Development had “failed” in its duty to provide a safe and secure environment for those who were placed under the protection of the state.

He also said that the matter was “extremely serious” and it raised a “serious doubt” on the intention of the officers of the Department of Women and Child Development.

“In view of the same, it is directed that the district officer, north east, WCD and Superintendent, SAG Home are immediately placed under suspension and their charge is given to competent and sensitive officers,” the letter said.

In a statement, the DCW claimed that the disappearance of these girls was noticed after six months. It alleged that they were victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and also claimed that brothel owners might have kidnapped them in “connivance with the Home authorities”.