Muzaffarpur shelter home girls say they were stripped, spanked for refusing sexual demands
More horrific details of abuse at the shelter home for minor girls at Muzaffarpur have emerged with some inmates telling police investigators that they used to be taken to the roof of the three-storyed building, stripped naked and spanked if they refused to submit to sexual demands.
The fact came to light after a TV news channel aired the statement of a differently-abled child on Monday.
As part of her interaction with women officials, the speech-impaired girl, using sign language, said: “I used to be taken upstairs and the ‘head Sir’ would strip and spank me if I did not fulfil his demands.”
Another teenager, in her statement was shown telling authorities that ‘Sir’ used to play ‘dirty games’ with girls. “We were given medicines… ‘Sir’ would come with two boys. When we resisted, the boys would pin us down and ‘Sir’ would force himself on us. He would use condom as precaution,” the teenager said.
The girls even told authorities that songs with double meaning lyrics would be played in the evening at the shelter home. Referring to two shelter home staff as ‘aunties’, the girls alleged they would beat them if they did not heed their directives. However, the girls said the ‘aunties’ were scared of ‘Sir’.
The girls even alleged that ‘Sir’ would also ask them to oblige visitors to the shelter home who came with him.
Like most other inmates at the shelter home, the two girls did not know the name of the perpetrator of the crime. However, they replied in the affirmative when authorities showed them a mobile grab of an individual, who the girls referred to as either ‘Sir’ or “pet wala, mooch wala aadmi (a pot-bellied man with a moustache).”
Investigators suggested that 34 of the 42 girls examined so far were found to have been sexually exploited. Two other girls were not subjected to medical examination because of their poor mental health.
“Of the 42 girls examined, doctors had found possibility of 34 girls having sex,” senior superintendent of police, Muzaffarpur, Harpreet Kaur, had said on Saturday.
The CBI, which took over the probe on Sunday, had seized CDs of CCTV footage, which reportedly showed torture of inmates at the shelter home.
Ten of the eleven accused, including Brajesh Thakur who ran the NGO operating the shelter home and seven women have been arrested so far. Former chairman of the district child welfare committee, Muzaffarpur, Dilip Kumar Verma who is the 11th accused, is absconding. A local court has issued a proclamation notice against Verma.
The matter had come to light earlier this year when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The audit report stated that many girls at the shelter home had complained of sexual abuse. A special investigation team was formed to probe the complaints.
The NGO running the shelter home in Muzaffarpur was blacklisted and the girls were shifted to shelter homes in Patna and Madhubani.