Nitish Kumar says ‘we are ashamed’ on sexual abuse at Muzaffarpur shelter

Facing criticism over alleged sexual exploitation at a shelter home for minors in Muzaffarpur, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Friday said the incident has shamed the government, adding that those found guilty will be “severely punished”, reported news agency . Kumar also said the case had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and that he wants the Patna High Court to monitor the probe. This is the Chief Minister’s first statement in connection with the case, which has rocked the Bihar Legislative Assembly and found mention in the on-going monsoon session of Parliament.

Mein aisi ghatana ghat gayi ki hum sharamsaar ho gaye. CBI jaanch kar rahi hai, High Court iski monitoring kare (The incident shamed us. The CBI is investigating it and I want the High Court to monitor it),” he was quoted as saying by ANI. “I would like to assure everyone that no leniency will be shown towards anyone, and all those found guilty will be severely punished.”

Kumar’s statement comes a day after the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizanceof the allegations. Kumar’s JD(S) is in coalition with the BJP in the state.

Also read | Muzaffarpur victims’ counsellors: ‘We take each day as it comes… to help the girls fight trauma’

The Bihar government had filed several cases after a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) alleged sexual and physical abuse of inmates at several short stay homes in the state. The gravest case was reported from a home for minors in Muzaffarpur. Medical reports of 29 out of 34 inmates suggested sexual exploitation. At least 10 people have been arrested in connection with this case, including prime accused Brajesh Thakur, who is the owner of the NGO.

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