Patna: After keeping mum for weeks on Bihar's burning topic involving rape of young girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur that went on for months, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, during the launch of 'Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana' at Adhiveshan Bhawan in Patna on Friday, said that he was extremely pained by the incident and had left him in 'shame and guilt'.

Kumar, who is frequently blamed of acting more like a social welfare minister than an all-powerful Chief Minister with authority and resources at his fingertip to bring substantial change in the state instead of only launching one social scheme after another, said that the sex scandal in the girl's shelter home in Muzaffarpur had left him embarrassed and with a broken heart.

"This incident has left us with a deep sense of shame and guilt. Such abuse of young girls has no place in any society and we are steadfast in our effort to bring guilty persons to justice. We will also place mechanisms to prevent such incidents from occurring again," he said.

As reported before, 34 out of 42 girls living in the Muzaffarpur shelter were medically confirmed to have been sexually exploited by people, some said to be in the position of power, visiting the facility over a period of many months, possibly even years.

Brajesh Thakur who ran the girls' shelter home is said to be the main accused in the case.

Rubbishing the claim that a CBI probe was ordered by him under pressure from the opposition leaders, the Chief Minister said that he had already ordered a high-level CBI investigation into the case and was in favor of seeing the probe being monitored by the High Court.

Interestingly, Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, whose husband is said to be one of the many people who allegedly raped the girls, was also present at today's event.

Speaking on the occasion, Kumar said that under the 'Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana', over 3.12 lakh girls will be able to take financial benefit up to a total amount of Rs. 54,000.

The Chief Minister, who has affirmed his belief in providing financial and other aids to girls in Bihar from their birth to marriage stage on numerous occasions, said that when it came to the welfare of girls including their health and education, money was no object.

Kumar also announced his decision to expand funding for bicycles for school boys and girls from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000.

The entire scheme is expected to cost the taxpayers Rs. 2,221 crore in the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Tejaswi Yadav and other Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders have called for a nationwide strike on Friday to demand for the resignation of Nitish Kumar in the aftermath of Muzaffarpur shelter sexual exploitation case.

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