Nitish Kumar acts tough against shelter homes in Bihar

In the wake of the Muzaffarpur sex scandal case at a state-funded shelter home, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday directed all district magistrates to inspect child shelter homes and women shelter homes across the state. He also ordered adequate security arrangements to be made at the shelter homes.

A team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reached Muzaffarpur for further investigation after getting all documents from Social Welfare Department, Patna and TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) in connection with the case.

Patna High Court has, meanwhile, asked the intelligence agency and the state government for a detailed action report on in the matter.

The matter should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the High Court should monitor their investigation,” Nitish Kumar said.

More than 40 girls had been lodged at the shelter home and medical reports suggest that over half of them may have had sexual intercourse at some point of time.

The alleged sex scandal in Muzaffarpur surfaced in a social audit conducted by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Following this, FIR was lodged by the state social welfare department in June, which led to the arrest of 10 people.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are demanding the resignation of Bihar’s social welfare department minister Manju Verma, alleging her involvement in the sex scandal case. Her husband, Chandrasekhar Verma, has reportedly been accused of visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home frequently.

Nitish Kumar said, “If someone related to the Minister is involved, they won’t be spared. But why is this issue being raised only now? We had called her and she denied any involvement. How is it justified to level baseless allegations?”

BJP MP Gopal Narayan Singh said, “Since their names (Manju Verma and her husband) have appeared during the investigation she should’ve resigned for an impartial investigation. Nitish ji should also tell her to stay suspended until all investigations are done.”

The NGO running the shelter home has been blacklisted and all the girls have been moved to shelter homes in other districts while the premises has been sealed.

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