One of 14 girls rescued from Muzaffarpur shelter home goes missing (Photo Source: PTI)
In what could be a big blow for all the government-run shelter homes in Bihar, one among the 14 girls, who were rescued from the Muzaffarpur Balika Grih has gone missing from an NGO in Madhubani.
Speaking to ANI, Pragya Bharti, the owner of the NGO said, "In our NGO, we have 10 beds in the special unit. We earlier had 11 children. When those 14 children came, the authorities told me that they would be shifted later and demanded me to keep them. I didn't have the capacity to accommodate 20-25 children, but due to pressure from the government, I kept the children. The children were not shifted after that. I did my best to protect them."
"The condition of those 14 girls were not good. So, we wrote a letter to the district administration demanding security. There were four people who were overseeing the security. We had adequate security but somehow a girl went missing due to security lapse or conspiracy. This case is being given a political colour. This should not be made into a political issue at all," she added.
Following this shocking incident, Bharti immediately registered a complaint with the police and also submitted copies of the CCTV footage for further investigation.
On being asked about the Police or CBI investigation in connection to the case, Bharti replied that there was no questioning done so far. She also rubbished the rumours of her NGO doing malicious activities.
Talking about the health condition of the 14 minor girls, Bharti further said, "I spoke to them. They were physically weak. After conducting counselling sessions, they started talking. There are some girls who are recovering right now."
Earlier, in July, in the view of a monstrous crime in a Bihar shelter home, as many as 34 minor girls were shifted to two different NGOs in Patna and Madhubani. The police have also blacklisted the NGO running the shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
Meanwhile, BJP MP CP Thakur has demanded the resignation of Bihar Welfare Minister Manju Verma, suspecting her involvement with the case. "I don't know if her (Manju Verma) husband is involved or not. All I am saying is that she should resign till the CBI inquiry is on, once the CBI gives her a clean chit she can resume office," Thakur was quoted as saying by ANI.
On Saturday, RJD leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav held a protest at the historic Jantar Mantar against the rape of 34 girls in a government-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
The RJD leader, who has been critical of the Nitish Kumar government for its alleged connection with the case, was also joined by Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his sit-in in New Delhi.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also marked attendance in Yadav's “attempt to seek justice” for minor girls of Muzaffarpur shelter home.
Seven Social welfare department officials were also suspended by Governor Satya Pal Malik for not taking timely cognizance of the social audit report by a leading research university situated in Mumbai, which unravelled the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.
For those unversed, in July, as many as 34 girls, aged among seven to 14 years, were drugged, scalded with boiling water, raped and forced to sleep naked in a government-run shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. One of the minors was mercilessly beaten to death following a disagreement with some of the staff members from the stay home.
The CBI is currently investigating the case, which relates to the mental, physical and sexual exploitation of the girls residing at the Balika Grih of Bihar's Muzaffarpur. The shelter home was run by Brajesh Thakur, a well-known name in the power corridors of Patna.