Probe into sexual assault on girls at Bihar shelter home now delves into allegation that an inmate was murdered
One of the 46 minor girls who were shifted out of the shelter home after the prolonged sexual assault on them came to light in May has told police that one of the inmates was killed.
PATNA: The ongoing probe into the sexual assault on inmates of a government-funded short stay home for girls in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur now includes a murder charge after an inmate revealed that a girl was killed there after being frequently sexually assaulted.
One of the 46 minor girls who were shifted out of the shelter home after the prolonged sexual assault on them came to light in May has told police that one of the inmates was killed after being frequently sexually assaulted a few years ago.
“The revelation has been made a part of the case diary and is being probed. At least two other inmates have also corroborated that the murder took place at the shelter home and the body was dumped somewhere nearby,” said a police official involved in the investigation.
The inmates of the shelter home run by the NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti were so terrorised by the managers and welfare department officials that they kept quiet about the murder, he added. The “murdered girl” was 14 at the time and was swiftly buried either in the shelter home’s backyard or in a nearby litchi firm, according to the revelations.
After police approached a special POCSO court in Muzaffarpur with the fresh information in the case and sought permission to look for and exhume the body, the court on Saturday gave the go-ahead. POCSO court judge RP Tiwari also ordered that a magistrate be deployed and all facilities be provided to the probe team to substantiate the inmates’ claim about the murder.
“All preparations are being made to substantiate the claims. We will take the girls to the probable spots where they think the body was buried,” said Muzaffarpur SSP Harpreet Kaur, declining further details about the probe.
A medical examination of the girls at the shelter home, aged between seven and 17, at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) confirmed that 16 of them were subjected to rape several times during their stay there. Some of these girls are aged seven years.
Altogether ten people have been arrested in the case that came to light in a social audit conducted by a team from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) at the invitation of the state government. The arrested people include Brajesh Thakur, who runs the NGO and also owns a Hindi daily newspaper named Pratah Kamal.