Nitish Orders Preemptive Probe of All Girls Shelter in Bihar

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar talking to reporters in Patna on Monday.

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Patna: With the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case dominating the media for the past few weeks, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, talking to reporters at the end of his weekly Jan Samvad meeting in Patna on Monday once again expressed his sadness over the incident but denied his administration had any prior knowledge of the abuse of nearly three dozen girls of the shelter home in the spotlight.

"This whole thing is very sordid, unfortunate, and repulsive. We did not have any knowledge of the ongoing abuse but once information of sexual abuse was received from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) that carried out the investigation, we immediately recommended full CBI enquiry into the case," Kumar said.

Vowing to spare no one once found guilty in the sexual abuse case involving young girls living in the shelter home, the Chief Minister said that Bihar minister for Social Welfare Manju Verma had unequivocally denied any involvement in the case so there was no need for her resignation or sacking but anyone related to her any other person in the government would be treated in the same manner as any other criminal would be treated.

As recalled, Verma's husband Chandrashekhar Verma's name has surfaced in the list of those who are said to have engaged in sexual acts with under-aged girls living in the shelter.

To further minimize the impact of the scandal on his own government and his party's prospect in the next national and state elections, the Janata Dal – U leader said that he has ordered a full audit of all shelter homes in Bihar that are run by various NGOs and in the coming months and years, the government will take over full control of these shelters to prevent such incidents from taking place again.

The Chief Minister also accused the opposition leaders of publicizing the sexual abuse cases to divert from a proposed debate on corruption.

"These people who were protesting outside Jantar Mantar in Delhi the other day are not concerned with the welfare of the girls but they organized the rally so they wouldn't have to talk about corruption since a number of these people are involved in dozens of corruption cases.

Meanwhile, the Patna High Court on Monday issued notification of its decision to keep a close eye on the CBI investigation to ensure probe was speedy and not manipulated by any political force.

The court also ordered the CBI to present a report on its investigation within next two weeks.


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