Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday directed the State officials to conduct a CBI inquiry into the alleged rape of 29 minor girls living in a State-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.
“The government is committed to an impartial inquiry into the Muzaffarpur shelter home incident where a very despicable incident has happened. An inquiry was going on but an atmosphere of doubt was being created so Chief Minister has directed the State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of police to hand over the case to CBI”, the government press release said.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Suhsil Kumar Modi and DGP K.S. Dwivedi asserted that there was no need of a CBI inquiry into the incident as they were “satisfied” with the investigation of police.
When the issue was raised in Parliament by Ranjit Ranjan, Congress MP from Supaul constituency, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said “if the State government would recommend for a CBI probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, central government would have no problem.”
A total of 42 girls had been sent for medical examination at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), and so far, in the cases of all the 29 girls whose reports are available, “sexual contact” has been confirmed
Ten persons, including Brajesh Thakur, whose NGO was managing the affairs of the shelter home, have been arrested while one Dilip Verma is absconding.
Opposition parties have been slamming the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state ever since the rape incident had hit headlines and pressing for CBI inquiry into it.
However, on Wednesday, Shiba Kumari, wife of district Child Protection Officer Ravi Raushan who was arrested, said the husband of the Social Welfare Department minister Manju Verma was visiting the shelter home frequently.
“I demand a CBI inquiry into the case. My husband is being framed to save some big people. He was doing his duty honestly. I demand investigation into the role of Chandeshwar Verma, the husband of social welfare minister Manju Verma”, she said.
“I have been told that the Minister’s husband used to visit the shelter home with other people, who waited downstairs while he himself spent time in the upper storey”, she further alleged.
However, the Minister dismissed the allegation as “politically motivated” and said none of the victims had given statements that could corroborate what was being alleged.
“It is a disgusting example of a politically motivated smear campaign. Nearly a month has passed since the official was arrested and the allegation has been made only now, on a day when the Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav visited the town”, she said.
“I visited the Muzaffarpur Balika Griha in February this year and my husband had accompanied me but he never visited after that”, Ms. Verma added.