September 30, 2020

Stench of sex trade at home

Muzaffarpur: Police on Wednesday recovered a huge quantity of sedatives and packets of condoms from another shelter home run by the jailed Brajesh Thakur, suggesting that the facility for adult destitute women may have been used to carry out flesh trade.

The articles were seized during a search of four rooms in which the women were living and also the rooftop of the building in the presence of the women’s police station chief, Jyoti Kumari, and investigating officer Kalawati Kumari.

A six-member team of forensic experts had gone to the Swadhar Grih home located at Pakkisarai Chowk adjacent to the town’s red light area to collect evidence pertaining to the mysterious disappearance of 11 women and their four minor children from the facility. A few used condoms were also seized from the rooftop of the building.

The team’s visit follows the FIR lodged on Monday over the disappearance of the 11 women. The forensic experts were assigned to collect evidence from the rooms and the building premises. Sources said a few empty bottles of foreign liquor were also found.

The FIR was lodged on the statement of assistant director of the social welfare department, Devesh Kumar Sharma, accusing the office-bearers and other employees of Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, the NGO owned by Thakur, of concealing information about the whereabouts of the residents. Thakur is at present lodged in the Shaheed Khudiram Bose Central Jail in connection with the sexual exploitation of minor girls at Balika Grih, another government-funded shelter home run by him. Sharma said Swadhar Grih, the home for adult women, was assigned to impart vocational training to the residents to make them self-reliant. He clarified that the 11 women and their four children were present when a district level committee visited the home in March this year to check the facility. However, the shelter home was found locked and the women were missing when the team visited for the second time on June 9.

“Neither officials nor the residents were found. Later we sought direction from the senior officials of the department. A formal complaint was lodged on the directive of the senior officials on Monday,” he told The Telegraph on Wednesday.

Thakur’s NGO was blacklisted following a chargesheet submitted by the police against him and nine others in connection with the Balika Grih sexual abuse case. Altogether, 34 of the 44 girls staying at the home were found to have been raped.

The matter came to the fore during a social audit of 110 shelter homes across the state done by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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