October 23, 2020

34, not 29, minors raped at Bihar shelter home: Police

Patna: Thirty-four minor girls housed in a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district have been raped as against earlier figure of 29, police said on Saturday.

Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harpreet Kaur said: “It was not 29 but 34 girls who were raped at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.” Medical examinations of 42 girls last week revealed that 29 of them were raped.

Under pressure from the opposition, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Thursday recommended a CBI probe.

Kumar’s deputy Sushil Kumar Modi had said the state government would request the Patna High Court to monitor the probe.

Opposition MLAs had paralysed the state Assembly with their vociferous demands for a high court-monitored CBI probe into the scandal. They also demanded that the state Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma be sacked.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told the Parliament that the Centre would consider if the state government recommended a CBI inquiry.

Recommending the CBI inquiry on Thursday, Kumar had directed the chief secretary, the director general of police and the principal secretary (home) to immediately hand over the case to the central investigating agency.

The alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at the shelter home had come to light in the report of a social audit conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

An FIR was subsequently registered on a complaint by the state social welfare department and 10 persons, including the patron of the NGO which ran the shelter home and the then district child protection officer, were arrested.

‘SC-monitored probe’

The Congress on Saturday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored CBI inquiry into the rape of 34 minor girls in a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.

Calling him ‘Kushashan babu’, the Congress asked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar if this was the good governance (sushashan) model of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal-United government in the state.

“The opportunistic BJP-JDU alliance in Bihar has just completed one year in power. It is a year marred by misgovernance and anarchy,” said AICC incharge of Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil.

The Bihar government on Thursday announced a CBI probe into the case.

The shelter home was sealed after the sexual abuse of girl inmates came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

The Congress also demanded that an FIR should be filed against 14 other such homes that were mentioned in the TISS report under “grave concerns”.

Gohil claimed that action had been taken only against one home shelter in Muzaffarpur, while the outrageous crime committed in remaining 14 have been conveniently ignored.

“Bihar is in the grip of complete lawlessness as horrifying incidents have shaken public conscience,” he said.

He said that the family of arrested Child Protection Officer (Ravi Roushan) has made sensational claims that Social Development Minister Manju Verma’s husband Chandrashekhar Verma regularly visited the shelter home.

“This has raised several uncomfortable questions regarding the role of the Minister and her husband,” the Congress leader said.

“A government and a Chief Minister known for empowering women and girl child through bicycles, prohibition of liquor and reservation presides over a regime where girls in shelter homes are being sexually exploited.” “All thanks to the anti-women mindset of BJP and its leadership,” he added.

The Congress leader also claimed that key accused Brajesh Thakur was getting support from BJP youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader Sudhanshu Pathak, who has demanded his release.

“Instead of seeking justice for the victims and demanding punishment for the guilty, the BJP is brazening it out and is busy protecting the predators,” said Gohil.

Courtesy: PTI

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