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Condoms, stimulants found at another Bihar shelter run by Muzaffarpur accused

The officials are likely to be questioned for the delay in filing FIR and pursuing the investigation even as a welfare official blamed the state headquarters for delaying the sanctions.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2018 11:33 IST
Ajay Kumar & Reena Sopam
Ajay Kumar & Reena Sopam
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur/Patna
Muzaffarpur,Bihar Shelter home,rape Case
Police investigate the site where a rape victim was alleged buried, at a government shelter home in Muzaffarpur.(PTI File Photo)

The CBI and Muzaffarpur police have taken strong exception to the lackadaisical approach of district welfare officials and the social welfare department in probing the case of 11 missing inmates from Swadhar Grih, another shelter home run by the main accused of the Muzaffarpur shelter home, where 34 girls were raped.

The officials are likely to be questioned for the delay in filing FIR and pursuing the investigation even as a welfare official blamed the state headquarters for delaying the sanctions.

The district police had on Wednesday raided Swadhar Grih, another shelter home run by Brajesh Thakur and had seized several objectionable items, including condoms, sex stimulating medicines and empty liquor bottles, raising suspicion that the inmates at this home were also subjected to sexual abuse.

A forensic team that accompanied the district police has collected samples of the objectionable items recovered from Swadhar Grih for examination. Some computers, along with documents, have also been seized by the police team.

Muzaffarpur SSP, Harpreet Kaur said that the investigations were on and all angles are being looked into. She, however, declined to comment on whether the inmates were subjected to sexual abuse.

She said the premises was also used as the headquarters of ‘Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti’ promoted by Thakur, who managed the affairs of all his NGOs with the help of his close associate Madhu Kumari, who is on the run.

The welfare department officials had during their inspection of Swadhar Grih, on March 20, noted the presence of 11 inmates being provided skill development training at the facility. On June 9, the officials had found the shelter home locked with all of them ‘missing’.

Divesh Chandra Sharma, assistant welfare director, Muzaffarpur, said the FIR was delayed due to the time involved in getting the go-ahead from state headquarters.

“I sought direction from state headquarters on June 22. The permission came on July 20,” he said, refusing to speak further.

Dept Trying to Evade: Women’s Commission

The State Women’s Commission has also stepped in. It has sought a reply from the social welfare department on how the inmates — mostly destitute and abandoned girls — had gone missing, since June 9, and what actions had been taken to recover them.

“We have asked the department to report to the commission. Initially, it asked for time to collect details, assuring to get back within a couple of days. Now, it has stopped receiving our phone calls. It appears there is an attempt to avoid and evade,” said Nikki Hembram, a member of the commission, adding, “We are serious to get answers.”

District welfare officials were not available for comment immediately.

The CBI, it is learnt, is keen to unravel the ‘racket’ behind the allotment of funds for running shelter homes and other welfare schemes to ‘shady’ organisations and people.

The role, scale and ‘style’ of operations, using government funds, has come under scanner following an FIR against ‘Seva, Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti’ and Swadhaar Grih, just 200 meters way from the Muzaffarpur shelter home where medical reports have suggested rape of 34 out the 44 inmates.

A senior investigating officer said that the role of district and departmental officers will be scrutinised.

“They have not provided specific reasons for the 52-day delay in instituting FIR. It smacks of an attempt to extend undue favour to the accused aimed at providing ample time for destroying evidences,” he said, requesting not to be quoted.

First Published: Aug 02, 2018 21:55 IST