Sexual violence used as a form of punishment. Staff members hitting girls’ private parts. Wards essentially becoming lock-ups.
This was the “situation of terror” that prevailed at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, according to an audit conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Tiss).
It was this report by Tiss that blew the lid off the goings-on at the Muzaffarpur shelter, where police say 34 girls were raped or sexually abused.
The shelter home’s owner, Brajesh Thakur, is the prime accused in the case and is currently under arrest. The investigation of the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation after the Nitish Kumar government came under fire for going soft on Thakur. Nitish has denied those charges.
The Muzaffarpur shelter home rape scandal first came to light after police raided the home in the wake of the Bihar government receiving the Tiss report. While the audit has not yet been made public, India Today TV has managed to access the report.
The Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences was tasked by the Bihar government to carry out an audit of all shelter homes in the state. Seen above is the part of the report detailing the goings-on at the Muzaffarpur shelter
The report, right at the outset, says that the Muzaffarupur shelter was run in a “highly questionable manner”. “Grave instances of violence took place at [the] shelter,” the report says.
The girls who stayed at the shelter home were “regularly” molested by the men employed as staff members. The men even used to enter the girls’ rooms “at odd hours and hit them on their private parts,” the report says.
Sexual violence was used as a form of “punishment” and in order to “discipline” the girls who were denied access to open areas and were kept locked-up in their wards, the report also says.
The girls were subjected to beatings when they asked to speak to their families, the report adds. Such was the “situation of terror [at the shelter home that the] girls who had yet not faced abuse learnt to remain silent.”
Courtesy: India Today