By Dheeraj Kumar
Patna/New Delhi:Even as Bihar Assembly today witnessed complete wash out of Question Hour over the issue of sexual abuse in Muzaffarpur`s short stay home, its echo was also felt in Lok Sabha where RJD and Congress members pressed for CBI probe into unsavoury incident.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed his dismay over reports of girls being sexually abused at the shelter home and asserted that the Centre would consider a CBI inquiry once the State government made a request.
Singh`s comment came in response to Congress member Ranjeet Ranjan’s demand for a CBI enquiry under court supervision into the matter, in Lok Sabha.
Ranjan during the Zero Hour said the safety of the girls must be ensured at any cost and even went to extent of alleging that shelter homes for girls were being made hubs of prostitution.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also come under Opposition`s severe attack spearheaded by Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejaswi Yadav.
In state assembly today, Tejaswi said the issue of sexual exploitation of inmates at Muzaffarpur`s short stay home is quite serious and accused the administration of being hesitant in taking action. He said, “Whatever action had been taken, it was done on the court`s order”. He accused government of shielding accused in the case and said that rapes of 29 girls had been confirmed so far.
The Opposition leader said that entire Bihar was put to shame by the incident in Muzaffarpur and so discussion should be held in the House on it after acceptance of the adjournment motion.
Even as Nitish government faces the flak from Opposition, Bihar director general of police K S Dwivedi tried to put a brave face by saying 10 including the director of an NGO running a short stay home in Muzaffarpur Brajesh Thakur had been arrested so far in connection with sexual exploitation of girls at the stay home.
The NGO was engaged by state social welfare department for running the short stay home.
Dwivedi told newspersons here that 11 people had been made accused in the case related to sexual exploitation of girls being run by an NGO ‘Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti’. He said that 42 out of 44 girls put in at short stay home were medically examined and it was confirmed that 29 of them were sexually exploited.
Dwivedi said that as soon as the matter was disclosed, an FIR was lodged at Muzaffarpur Women police station on May 31 this year against 11 people including Brajesh Thakur under various sections of Indian Penal Code.
He said that only after 48 hours of registration of FIR, director of short stay home cum chief executive Brajesh Thakur, Kiran Kumar, Minu Devi, Manju Devi, Indu Kumar, Chanda Devi, Neha Kumari, Vikas Kumar, Ravi Kumar Roshan and Hema Masih were arrested. He said that only one accused Dileep Kumar Verma was still at large. He said that raids were being conducted at various places to nab him.
The DGP said victim girls informed authorities that one of the girls was buried behind water tank after her murder. He said that the place, identified by girls was excavated yesterday but no trace of skeleton was found. He said that the soil excavated from the place had been sent to forensic laboratory for test.
Dwivedi said that reports of irregularities had also been received from short stay homes located in Gaya, Munger, Bhagalpur and Motihari. He said that girls had complained of being locked at the short stay homes during night hours.
Now, the state government has decided to appoint transgenders as guards at these short stay homes.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai had revealed in an audit report that minor girls living at a government children home in Muzaffarpur have been subjected to sexual abuse. The TISS has in its audit report raised questions on how the children home was being run.
A case in this regard has been filed under section 376, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) against the Seva Sankalp evam Vikas Samiti, the NGO which runs the children home.