PATNA: The seven women employees of the government-funded shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur who were arrested last month had been instrumental in causing the sexual assaults on the minor girls residing there, according to the victims’ statements.
“The women employees not only allowed the sexual assaults of the girls by both male staffers and male visitors inside the shelter home, they also often took the girls out in the night,” said a police official involved in the investigations, which were on Sunday taken over by CBI after the state government’s recommendation.
The frequency with which the inmates, aged between seven and 18, were taken outside the shelter home in the night has led to investigators believe that the NGO running it was part of a well-oiled sex racket for at least three years.
Indu Kumari, the de facto head of the shelter home on Sahu Road in Muzaffarpur, had been the closest to Brajesh Thakur, head of the NGO Seva Sankalp evam Vikas Samiti (SSVS). Citing the police supervision report of the scandal, police sources said Kumari, a resident of Brahmapura Road of the town, had been frequently bringing male visitors to the shelter home in the night and letting them rape the inmates.
“Kiran aunty” and “Chanda aunty” are the two names the inmates have taken several times in their statements before police and a magistrate. These two women – Kiran Kumari and Chanda Devi – worked at the shelter home as helper and caretaker respectively.
“We were forced by Kiran aunty to go a separate room in the night where some unknown men were already present. Kiran aunty and Chanda aunty would often ask us to lie in our beds without any clothes on,” one of the victims was quoted to have said. Other inmates also corroborated this version, said police officials.
Neha Kumari, who worked as a nurse at the shelter home, used to inject the girls with sedatives before they were taken outside in the nights, said the victims in their statements.
At least seven inmates have accused NGO head Brajesh Thakur and child protection officer (CPO) Roshan Kumar of raping them, said sources. Both men also used to threaten the girls with dire consequences if they ever protested or revealed the incidents to anyone, the victims reportedly said in their statements.
The Bihar government on Sunday said it would urge Patna High Court to monitor the CBI probe. The Opposition parties had been demanding for a HC-monitored probe by CBI.
“We want everyone involved in this horrific incident to be punished. We will soon ask Patna High Court to monitor the probe by CBI,” said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.