Bihar shelter sexgete: Over two Dozen IAS Officer may face action
NEW DELHI ; The CBI on Wednesday informed the Top Court that there was no evidence of murder of children in the Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar. The agency said that it had been completed its inquiry into the shelter home case.
The CBI said that forensic analysis revealed that two skeletons found in the premises were of a man and a woman. “No girl was killed in Muzaffarpur shelter home and skeletons found were not of inmate minors,” Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court o wednesday.
All 35 girls, who were suspected to have been killed at a shelter home in Bihar’ s Muzaffarpur, are alive, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Top Court today. The probe agency has said it has completed investigation in the mass sex assault case at the shelter that triggered massive outrage about two years ago. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde accepted the status report of the CBI and allowed two officers to be relieved from the investigation team.
Several girls were allegedly sexually and physically assaulted at a shelter home run by an NGO in Bihar”s Muzaffarpur. The issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Earlier, the top court had directed the CBI to conduct a probe into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates in 16 other shelter homes in Bihar which were flagged in the TISS report
Last year, the probe agency had told the top court that the politically well-connected Brajesh Thakur, who had operated the shelter for several years, and his accomplices may have killed 11 girls and it had recovered “bundle of bones”. Today, the CBI said that the two skeletons that were recovered were of a man and a woman, adding that no evidence of murder of any minor has been found.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the probe agency, said that children, who were alleged to be murdered, were later traced and found to be alive. He said that CBI has investigated cases of 17 shelter homes in Bihar and chargesheet has been filed in 13 of them. In four cases the preliminary inquiry was conducted and later closed as no evidence was found, it said.
In Muzaffarpur, young girls were forced to dance to vulgar songs, sedated and raped at the government-run shelter in a massive sex scandal with links to influential politicians and bureaucrats. More grisly details have been revealed in the chargesheet filed by the CBI against Brajesh Thakur, the key accused in the case.
At least 34 inmates were allegedly drugged and raped at the shelter, law enforcement agencies had said. The CBI – in its chargesheet filed in December 2018 – alleged that the main accused, Brajesh Thakur, had coerced girls to dance to vulgar songs and have sexual intercourse with guests. Thakur is currently lodged in a high-security prison in Punjab.
The probe agency has also asked the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar to act against officials who were found to be responsible for lapses in managing shelter homes in the state during its one-and-a-half year-long probe. Twenty-five IAS officers are among over 70 officials in the state who could face action.
The CBI had also said the Bihar government has been requested to take departmental action and action of cancellation of registration and blacklisting of concerned NGOs by providing them the result of investigation.
Following the report, a petition was filed in the apex court seeking lodging of an FIR and court-monitored probe by an independent agency into the allegations. The plea filed by journalist Nivedita Jha through advocate Fauzia Shakil has sought “registration of FIR and independent investigations or court monitored probe into the affairs of these 14 (other) shelter homes in Bihar mentioned in the TISS report”.
It had also directed the agency to investigate the role of “outsiders who were involved and facilitated the sexual assaults on the inmates”, after administering them intoxicants and also against those who allegedly indulged in trafficking of girls from the shelter home.
The apex court had earlier directed the CBI to complete its probe into the alleged murder of 11 girls at the shelter home and asked it to file a status report. The SC had transferred the case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Saket District Court complex in Delhi.
(With Agency Inputs ).