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Bihar govt recommends CBI probe into alleged sexual abuse at Muzaffarpur shelter home

The recommendation came two days after Bihar police chief KS Dwivedi ruled out a CBI probe while insisting he was satisfied with the probe.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2018 22:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Bihar,Bihar shelter homes,CBI probe
Police investigate the site where a rape victim was alleged buried, at a government shelter home in Muzaffarpur, on Monday, July 23, 2018. (PTI)

The Bihar government on Thursday recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged sexual abuse of at least 29 girls at a government-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur.

The move came hours before the Patna high court was scheduled to take up the case amid the Opposition’s demand that a CBI probe be ordered under the court’s supervision.

“Chief minister Nitish Kumar has directed the chief secretary, director general of police and principal secretary, home, to immediately hand over the case to CBI,” a state government press release said. It called the abuse “deplorable “ and insisted the police were carrying out “a diligent investigation”. “Although the government was committed to conducting an impartial probe, the decision for handing over the probe to CBI has been taken to dispel... rumours...”

The recommendation came two days after Bihar police chief KS Dwivedi ruled out a CBI probe while insisting he was satisfied with the probe. He confirmed that 29 out of the 44 girls rescued from the shelter had been raped.

Officials said 10 of the 11 accused had been arrested in the case that came to light after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences held a social audit of shelter homes across Bihar in 2017. Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the Centre would consider a CBI probe if the state government recommended it.

Earlier in the day, Opposition members in the state assembly demanded social welfare minister Kumari Manju Verma’s resignation after her husband Chandeshwar Verma’s name cropped up in the case. They demanded his arrest.

The wife of district child protection officer Ravi Kumar Raushan, who has been arrested on charges of sexual assault at the shelter home, accused Chandeshwar Verma “of frequently visiting the shelter home and spending long hours with the girls there”. The minister defended her husband. “My husband is being made a scapegoat,” she said.

First Published: Jul 26, 2018 22:51 IST