Patna: “Culprits are culprits. They have no political affiliation. They are criminals in the eyes of law. And the Muzaffarpur incident is no exception,” National Commission for Women (NCW) member Sushma Sahu has told local media that those found guilty of sexual abuse of girls in the Muzaffarpur short stay home case would not be spared and be dealt with sternly. Mose decent people in the Bihar capital expressed their horror at the latest controversy around the institutions attached to the Juvenile Justice System.
Sahu, along with senior police officials of Muzaffarpur, visited the open shelter home run by NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti.where 44 children were living till recently. Most of the girls, now shifted to Patna and Madhubani, stated that they were sexually assaulted by the officials of the district protection unit, NGO and some politicians.
Sushma Sahu refused to be drawn into politics. Asked to comment on the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats, Sahu said: “I don’t want to go into such nitty-gritty. I want to get the offenders whosoever they may be punished for the crime. I have directed the police officials concerned to go to the bottom of the incident.”
She said the commission would talk to the coordinator of shelter homes in the state and ensure speedy justice to the victims. She said one of the girls, who was subjected to sexual harassment, recognised her attackers in photographs.
“Yes, they are the same ‘uncles’ who used to visit the stay home at night to commit the crime,” Sahu said, referring to those still evading arrest in the case.
Sahu asked the police to open the rooms in which the girls used to stay and remained there for almost 45 minutes inquiring about certain details. She said the girl inmates were so frightened that they didn’t want to reveal the ordeal they had to undergo at the shelter home.
Meanwhile, Muzaffarpur SSP Harpreet Kaur requested the superintendent of Patna Medical College and Hospital to set up a dedicated team of doctors (read medical board) to conduct a medical examination of the girls.
At the same time, she has written to the PMCH authority to give a clear opinion in the medical reports. “It is not justified to assign a single doctor to conduct a medical examination of the girls. So I have requested to the hospital authority to set up a medical board,” she told a journalist.
The SSP is awaiting medical reports from Madhubani district. “I have written to the Madhubani district magistrate requesting him to send the reports at the earliest. The medical examination was conducted last week,” she added.
She mentioned that there was no evidence of pregnancy of any of the 44 girl victims so far.
The 16 girls who were living in another shelter home at Muzaffarpur were shifted to Begusarai. “It is being verified whether these girls were living in the shelter home run by the same NGO,” the SSP said.
The SSP has also requested to the ADG, CID, Vinay Kumar, to send a few lady officers to assist the special investigation team (SIT) in the ongoing investigation.
The police, it is learnt, will submit the first case diary in the court on Monday. So far, nine persons, including the proprietor of the NGO, Brajesh Thakur and Vikas Kumar have been arrested. The racket came to the fore after Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences conducted social audit of 110 short stay homes in Bihar early this year.