Allegations that 34 minor girls were raped for months in a Muzaffarpur shelter home have left Indians reeling; this is just one of a series of horrifying rape cases reported this year — in Kathua, in Unnao, and in Chennai, for example.
In the Muzaffarpur case, girls aged between 7 and 17 have alleged that they were raped and sexually assaulted in the home. Most of them suffer from speech-impairment. The police say they were given sedatives with dinner and then raped at night.
The prime accused is Brajesh Thakur, who ran the home. He also owned three newspapers, but his PIB accreditation has now been cancelled.
The case came to light when Bihar’s social welfare department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home, conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai (TISS).
Here’s a look at how the case unfolded.
May 31 | FIR against Thakur, others
The TISS audit report said many girls at the shelter home had complained of sexual abuse. A special investigation was formed to probe the complaints. On May 31, an FIR was registered against 11 people, including Thakur — who was arrested in the first week of June.
June 14 | Shelter home sealed
The Women and Child Development Ministry said the shelter home had been sealed, and that 46 minor girls were rescued after the discovery of a sex racket.
July 29 | New FIR against Brajesh Thakur
A new FIR is registered against Brajesh Thakur in connection with 15 women and children missing from another of his Muzaffarpur shelter homes. In fact, an inquiry had revealed that they were missing way back on June 9.
August 1 | Governor Malik writes to Nitish
In letters sent to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik said the alleged sexual abuse at the first shelter home was “heart-rending”, PTI reported. He also suggested measures for preventing the recurrence of such events.
August 2 | Supreme Court asks Centre, Bihar for responses
The Supreme Court sought responses from the Union and Bihar governments on the Muzaffarpur case. A two-judge bench restrained the electronic media from telecasting images of the alleged victims, even in a morphed form. It also directed the CBI to carry out a forensic examination of the shelter home.
The next hearing in the Supreme Court is on August 7.
News credit : Indiatoday