October 23, 2020

NCW push for justice in sex assault case

Patna: National Commission for Women (NCW) member Sushma Sahu said on Saturday that those found guilty in the sexual abuse case related to the Muzaffarpur short stay home would not be spared and be dealt with sternly.

“Culprits are culprits. They have no political affiliation. They are criminals in the eyes of law. And the Muzaffarpur incident is no exception,” said Sahu on the sidelines of her visit to the short stay home for girls in Muzaffarpur run by NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti.

Sahu, along with senior police officials of Muzaffarpur, visited the open shelter home where 44 minor girls were living till recently. Most of the girls, who were shifted to Patna and Madhubani, alleged that they were sexually assaulted by the officials of the district protection unit, NGO and some politicians.

Asked about involvement of politicians and bureaucrats, Sahu said: “I don’t want to go into such nitty-gritties. I want to get the offenders whosoever they may be punished for the crime. I have issued directives to the police officials concerned to go to the bottom of the incident.”

The NCW member, who belongs to Bihar, said the commission would talk to the coordinator of such shelter homes in the state and ensure speedy justice to the victims. She said one of the girls, who was subjected to sexual harassment, recognised the main culprits with their photographs.

“Yes, they are the same ‘uncles’ who used to visit the stay home at night to commit the crime,” Sahu said, referring to those still evading arrest in the case. Earlier, Sahu and other members of her team had to face stiff protest from some women of Sahu Road where the shelter home was running.

Sahu asked the police officials to open the rooms in which the girls used to stay. She remained there for almost 45 minutes and inquired about the case. She said the girl inmates were so frightened that they didn’t want to reveal the ordeal they had to undergo at the shelter home.

On the other hand, Muzaffarpur SSP Harpreet Kaur requested the superintendent of Patna Medical College and Hospital to set up a dedicated team of doctors (read medical board) to conduct a medical examination of the girls.

At the same time, she has written to the PMCH authority to give a clear opinion in the medical reports. “It is not justified to assign a single doctor to conduct medical examination of the girls. So I have requested to the hospital authority to set up a medical board,” she told The Telegraph over phone.

The SSP said she had not received the medical reports from Madhubani district. “I have written to the Madhubani district magistrate requesting him to send the reports at the earliest. The medical examination was conducted last week,” she added.

She, however, said that the investigating officer has not got any evidence of pregnancy of any of the 44 girls who were allegedly subjected to sexual harassment by the functionaries of the NGO as well as officials of the district welfare committee and others.

The 16 girls who were living in another shelter home at Muzaffarpur were shifted to Begusarai. “It is being verified whether these girls were living in the shelter home run by the same NGO,” the SSP said.

The SSP has also requested to the ADG, CID, Vinay Kumar, to spare a few lady officers to assist the special investigation team (SIT) in the ongoing investigation. She expressed satisfaction over the investigation in the case.

The police would submit the first case diary in the court on Monday. So far, nine persons, including the proprietor of the NGO, Brajesh Thakur and Vikas Kumar have been arrested. The racket came to the fore after Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences conducted social audit of 110 short stay homes in Bihar early this year.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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