Under pressure from Opposition, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar recommends CBI probe into Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal

The development took place a day after a nine-member team of Opposition leaders led by RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav visited the shelter home and accused the government of shielding the accused.

Published: 26th July 2018 11:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2018 04:00 PM   |  A+A-

Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar (Photo | File/PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA: Buckling under rising pressure from the Opposition parties, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday ordered a CBI probe into the alleged sexual assaults on girls at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.

The development took place a day after a nine-member team of Opposition leaders led by RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav visited the shelter home and accused the government of shielding the accused in the incident.

With the wife of an arrested accused claiming that social welfare minister Manju Verma’s husband used to enter the shelter home without anyone accompanying him also added the pressure on the government. Manju Verma denied the charges, saying her husband never did so.

Legislators of the Opposition parties, who have been raising the issue in the Assembly’s ongoing monsoon session, on Thursday demanded the removal of the minister from the cabinet and the arrest of her husband, Chandeshwar Verma, a former MLC.

Tejashwi Yadav, who is the Leader of te Opposition in the Assembly, had said that Brajesh Thakur, head of the NGO that ran the government-funded shelter home, is close to both Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Sushil Kumar Modi. Thakur is one of the ten people arrested in the case so far.

“He (Thakur) had made arrangements for Nitish Kumar when the latter visited Muzaffarpur in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He was also present on the dais with Kumar… Thakur is also close to Sushil Kumar Modi. He once offered sweets to Modi in his official chamber,” said Yadav in Muzaffarpur. He also asked why Thakur was not taken on remand since his arrest two months ago.

Even though Union home minister Rajnath Singh said in Lok Sabha on July 24 that the Centre is willing to initiate a probe by CBI if the state government recommended so, Bihar DGP KS Dwivedi had ruled out a CBI probe the same day.

Describing the Muzaffarpur incident as “very deplorable,” the Bihar CM’s office said in a statement on Thursday that the state police are probing the case with “all seriousness”.

“The government is committed to an impartial probe, but an atmosphere of wrong impressions is being created. In order to dispel such atmosphere, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked the chief secretary, DGP and the home secretary to immediately hand over this whole case to CBI,” said the statement.

The Opposition parties expressed satisfaction over the probe being handed over to CBI. Tejashwi Yadav demanded that the CBI probe should be monitored by Patna High Court.

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