The number of girls raped at a government shelter home in Bihar has gone up to 34, according to a fresh medical report. Earlier, medical examinations of 29 of the 42 inmates of the shelter home in Muzaffarpur district confirmed that they were raped for months.
Ten out of 11 accused have been arrested. After pressure from the opposition, the Nitish Kumar government on Thursday handed over the investigation into the alleged sexual assault to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The police filed a chargesheet against the ten who were arrested.
The sexual assault at the state-run home came to light after Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted a report, based on conversations with several girls at the home which was meant to be their shelter.
The non-governmental organisation running the shelter home has been blacklisted and all the girls have been shifted to homes in neighbouring districts. Brajesh Thakur, who ran the NGO, was among those who were arrested last month.
On Monday, the police dug up the premises but failed to find the body of a minor allegedly buried at the shelter.
Bihar’s Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav targeted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the “delayed decision” to recommend a probe by the central agency. In a stinging tweet, Mr Yadav said,
“Bihar has rakshasraj (demonic rule). Here, Ravan kidnaps Mother Sita. This is balatkar raj(rape culture)j, coward Duryodhan is disrobing Draupadi. In Bihar, the Ravan-Duryodhan pair has made it difficult for sisters and mothers to step out.”
He also demanded the resignation of two ministers whose names have cropped up in the case.
The husband of the one of the ministers, Manju Verma, has been accused of being a regular visitor at the shelter home by the wife of a government official arrested.