Bihar shelter home scandal: Main accused Brajesh Thakur cries threat to life; Opposition wants another minister’s resignation

Thakur headed the NGO that was running the government-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur where 34 of the 42 minor girls were found to have been sexually and physically assaulted for years.

Published: 18th August 2018 10:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2018 10:34 PM   |  A+A-

Brajesh Thakur

Main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case Brajesh Thakur (File | PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA: Brajesh Thakur, the politically connected NGO head who is the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuses case, on Saturday told a court that he feels a constant threat to his life inside the jail because he has been lodged in a ward along with some Maoists.

Thakur, who was shifted to the prisoners’ ward earlier this week after spending weeks in the jail’s hospital ward, was presented before a special POCSO court in Muzaffarpur along with the nine other accused in the case through video-conferencing.

Citing how he was smeared with black paint by a woman protester when he was being taken to the court for an appearance on August 8, Thakur claimed that his life was under constant threat. But judge RP Tiwari declined to entertain his claims, observing that security of prisoners is a matter to be dealt with by the jail authorities and the district administrations.

Thakur headed the NGO that was running the government-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur where 34 of the 42 minor girls were found to have been sexually and physically assaulted for years. Thakur, who also owns three small newspapers, was arrested on June 2. A raid by CBI on the Patna office of his Hindi newspaper ‘Pratah Kamal’ had led to findings of several phone numbers, condoms and aphrodisiac drugs on Friday.

Meanwhile, a day after former social welfare minister Manju Verma said urban development minister Suresh Sharma should also resign because his name cropped up in the Muzaffarpur shelter home cases, the Opposition RJD and Congress demanded that Sharma be removed from the cabinet immediately. Manju Verma had resigned on August 8 after it was alleged that her husband had frequented the shelter home and was in touch with Thakur over phone.

“It is time the local MLA, who is a minister and played a role in the whole episode, should be sacked. We want to know if CM Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi will ask him to resign or we will have to start an agitation to make it happen,” said Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav of RJD. He refrained from naming Sharma, a BJP leader, as the latter had sent him a legal notice last month asking him to withdraw a statement in which Yadav had said his name had cropped up in the case.

But the ruling JD(U) dismissed the demand for Sharma’s removal. “They are unnecessarily screaming. The probe by CBI is on and the high court is monitoring it. If they have no faith in CBI, they should at least have faith in the high court. If the minister is found involved, why only resign? He will be arrested,” said JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok.

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