October 21, 2020

Eight arrested in sexual abuse case

Patna: Police in Muzaffarpur on Sunday arrested eight persons, including proprietor of an NGO Brajesh Thakur and superintendent of a short-stay home Indu Devi, in connection with a sexual exploitation case lodged by the assistant director of the child protection unit with the women’s police station in Muzaffarpur.

The arrested have been booked under different sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (Pocso) Act 2012 and the Indian Penal Code. They were later produced in court, which remanded them to Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail for 14 days. They were detained for interrogation on Saturday.

The arrested were identified as Brajesh, Kiran Kumari, Minu Kumari, Chanda Devi, Hema Masih, Manju Kumari and Indu. Thakur, however, denied the allegations and rubbished the report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

Muzaffarpur SSP Harpreet Kaur said those detained for questioning yesterday were formally arrested after the girl inmates of the stay home being run by NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti corroborated the allegations on Sunday. Altogether 14 girl inmates, who were shifted to Patna earlier, were produced in a local court to get their statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC.

The SSP said separate police teams would be sent to Mokama (Patna) and Madhubani to record the statements of other inmates. The child protection unit had rescued 46 girls from the Muzaffarpur-based short-stay home and shifted them to Patna and Madhubani after the TISS raised serious objections over the manner the centre was being run by the NGO.

Sources said of the total number of girls rescued, 13 were facing mental health issues apparently because of their repeated sexual exploitation. The girls aged between six and 18 years were lodged in the shelter home. While majority of the girls were living in the stay home on Sahu Road, some were shifted to its another centre located at Shukla Road, close to the red light area at Chaturbhusthan.

A three-member team of the Bihar State Women’s Commission led by its chairperson Dilmani Devi visited Muzaffarpur on Sunday to inquire about the incident. She felt embarrassed when local journalists asked that she had not found anything wrong during her last inspection of the stay home at Muzaffarpur about two months ago. “I had come to Muzaffarpur on a personal invitation of Brajesh Thakur ji. I had inspected the shelter home run by the NGO and funded by the state government then. But I didn’t receive any complaint from the girl inmates,” she clarified.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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