Shelter home horror: Girls were sedated

Jan Adhikar Party supporters protest against social welfare minister Manju Verma in Patna on Sunday.

Patna: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday took over the probe into the sexual exploitation of girls at the government-funded shelter home for minor girls in Muzaffarpur, even as it came to light that the girls were regularly given sedatives as de-worming tablets.

The CBI team headed by superintendent of police J.N. Pandey visited the Balika Grih and held a meeting with the senior police officials to know the status of the investigations so far. Earlier, the three-member CBI team, which includes a lady officer, collected documents related to the case lodged with the Muzaffarpur Women’s police station. The team also visited the court and informed it about taking over the case.

Sources in the state police said that the girls staying at the Balika Grih were given sedatives before they were sexually assaulted. The girls, during their medical examination, had told the doctors that the didis there used to give them de-worming tablets every night after dinner.

The police had seized over 65 types of medicines, including sedatives, from the shelter home.

The police had also seized the letterhead of an NGO, Ashray, located at Pakkisarai Chowk in the town. The NGO was being run by a former ward councillor Rani Begam, who is absconding.

Tejashwi charge

Leader of opposition Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday shared a document showing how Brajesh Thakur, proprietor of the NGO that ran the Balika Grih in Muzaffarpur, had got the tender for another shelter home (for beggars) from the social welfare department on May 31, 2018 – the day the FIR was filed against Thakur.

Posting the document on Twitter, Tejashwi wrote: “ Chachaji ye rista kya kahlata hai (Uncle, what does this relation say).”
Contacted, social welfare minister Manju Verma said: “It is not necessary that every department file will come to me for approval. Many files are disposed off at the director level, many at the secretary level and some at my level. How can you expect me to deal with every file? As soon as the department came to know about the allotment, it has cancelled.”

Members of the youth wing of Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik on Sunday blackened the nameplate outside the minister’s bungalow. Manju has been in the eye of the storm ever since the wife of the arrested district child protection officer claimed the minister’s husband used to frequent the Balika Grih.

“I am weak that’s why these people are doing such things at my house. How can I blame my husband on the statement of the wife of an accused wife,” Verma stressed.

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