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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Witness in Bihar shelter home abuse case remains untraceable

The 16-year-old girl from West Bengal had escaped along with six other inmates from another shelter home in Bihar, where they were shifted after the abuse came to light in May last year.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2019 23:24 IST
One of the key witnesses of the alleged sexual abuse at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur remained untraceable on Monday two days after she went missing.(Photo by A P Dube/Hindustan Times)
One of the key witnesses of the alleged sexual abuse at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur remained untraceable on Monday two days after she went missing.(Photo by A P Dube/Hindustan Times)(HT Photo)
         

One of the key witnesses of the alleged sexual abuse at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur remained untraceable on Monday two days after she went missing, according to the police.

The 16-year-old girl from West Bengal had escaped along with six other inmates from another shelter home in Bihar, where they were shifted after the abuse came to light in May last year. The six were later found from different places in Bihar’s Darbhanga. At least seven special teams have been looking for the girl in Bihar and West Bengal since Saturday, according to the police. One of the teams is camping at her home in West Bengal’s Dinajpur district hoping she might end up reaching there.

A local NGO, Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samity (SSEVS), had put up the teenager at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.

She was sent to the other shelter home after a Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) report found that a majority of inmates at the Muzaffarpur shelter home has been subjected to sexual abuse.

Medical tests later confirmed that 34 of 42 inmates at the Muzaffarpur shelter home had been repeatedly abused. SSEVS secretary, Brajesh Thakur, who was arrested in the infamous Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case on June 2, 2018, is alleged to have trafficked and brutally tortured the 16-year-old along with his guests, according to the victims’ statement. He is among at least 20 people arrested since the TISS report was made public.

The missing West Bengal girl has named several visitors to the shelter home for the alleged abuse after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe in the case, according to a senior police officer.

An investigating officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the 16-year-old has told investigators that Thakur would take her and few others to unknown places where his guests sexually abused them.

The Supreme Court took over the monitoring of the case in August last year and ordered the shifting of the 42 to other shelter homes.