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Bihar shelter home case: Probe into NGO of accused journalist

Thakur, who is an accredited journalist of PIB under the ministry of information and public relations, is the prime accused in the sexual exploitation of minor girls at a shelter home ‘Balika Griha’ in Muzaffarpur that was run by his NGO.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2018 00:13 IST
Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur
Bihar,Bihar shelter home case,Muzaffarpur
Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Communist Party of India legislators stage a protest against the Bihar shelter home case during the ongoing Monsoon Session, outside Bihar Assembly in Patna.(PTI File Photo)

The Pratah Kamal Offset Printers, owned by Rahul Anand, son of Brajesh Kumar Thakur, the arrested operator of Muzaffarpur-based NGO, Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, has come under scrutiny of Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Bihar government’s information and public relation department (IPRD).

Thakur, who is an accredited journalist of PIB under the ministry of information and public relations, is the prime accused in the sexual exploitation of minor girls at a shelter home ‘Balika Griha’ in Muzaffarpur that was run by his NGO.

The IPRD cancelled his press accreditation card after an FIR was lodged against him on May 31. It has now begun investigation on the media house to find out whether he and his colleagues had ever misused facilities accorded to accredited journalists.

PIB director general, Sitanshu Kar, confirmed Thakur’s accreditation. Talking over phone from New Delhi, he said, “I am not aware how he got the PIB accreditation. I will go through the related papers and will initiate suitable action if we find any anomaly,” he said.

According to the PIB list of accredited journalists, Thakur is listed at serial number 422 as correspondent of Pratah Kamal.

A PIB official, on condition of anonymity, said the Thakur family enjoyed much influence in PIB. “It can be gauged from the fact that he was also allotted a government accommodation under the PIB-accredited journalist quota in a posh locality of the National Capital Region (NCR), where Thakur had his Delhi office,” said the official.

Thakur had been running three daily newspapers, one each in Hindi, English and Urdu from the three-storied building in Muzaffarpur’s downtown, Sahu Road, where the shelter home was located on the ground floor. The Hindi publication was published in the name of Pratah Kamal, English daily was titled News Next while the Urdu daily came under the banner of Halat-e-Bihar. Thakur’s younger brother Rajesh Kumar Raju is accredited with the IPRD of government of Bihar as a correspondent of ‘News Next’.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 00:12 IST