Facing heat over Muzaffarpur shelter rapes, CM Nitish Kumar asks oppn to stop levelling ‘baseless allegations’
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday refused to give in to opposition’s demands for the resignation of social welfare minister Manju Verma after her husband’s name cropped up in connection with the sexual exploitation of inmates of a girls’ shelter in Muzaffarpur, and asked the opposition to stop levelling “baseless allegations” against her.
“We called her, and she denied any involvement. How is levelling baseless allegations (against her) justified? A CBI probe is underway. Anyone found guilty, even the ministers, will be sent to jail. If someone related to the minister is involved, they won’t be spared,” Nitish assured.
Opposition leaders — and even two BJP leaders — have called for resignation, alleging that she was aware about her husband, Chandeshwar Verma’s frequent visits to the Muzaffarpur shelter home — where 34 girls were raped in connivance with main accused Brajesh Thakur — without anybody accompanying him.
Manju strongly defended her husband on Saturday, stating that she would personally hang him if he was found guilty of the crime.
“Some people are busy levelling baseless charges against me and my husband with ulterior, political motives. My husband has absolutely no role in what has happened… If he is found guilty, I will have no qualms in hanging him at a public square,” the minister had said at an event in Begusarai.
The Bihar government had earlier suspended six officials of the state social welfare department in connection with the case. More heads are likely to roll in the days to come.
Expressing his anguish on the matter, Nitish Kumar called the incident “shameful and painful” and said that from now no NGO would be allowed to run shelter homes in Bihar. Only the government would have that authority.
He said that the High Court should monitor the CBI investigation.
The Muzaffarpur case came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
(With IANS inputs)