A state-run shelter home has gathered media attention because it is being alleged that 40 girls including minors were being raped and tortured within its walls. The ‘ Balika Grih’ in Muzaffarpur, Bihar is being run by an NGO Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti and run by Brajesh Thakur, a small-time journalist, along with Vineet Kumar, a member of child welfare committee.
On 23rd July, its grounds were dug and dead body of a girl who was suspected to have been murdered following an argument with the Balika Grih workers earlier was looked for. The digging has now stopped and no body has been recovered. But the soil sample is to be sent for forensic examination, says ANI reports.
Muzaffarpur shelter home alleged rape case: The digging in the shelter home premises has been stopped, no body has been recovered from the spot. A sample of the soil, which has been dug out from the spot, will be sent to Forensic Science Laboratory. #Bihar pic.twitter.com/Md9rjAWng6
— ANI (@ANI) July 23, 2018
It was Brijesh who had signed an agreement with the state social welfare department to run the shelter. As of now, the co-owners and eight others have been arrested and the shelter home has been sealed by the police, TOI reports.
The digging and investigation began after one of the inmates intimidated police of the dead body in context of sexual exploitation that the inmates are being subjected to. According to ANI reports, the excavation is being carried out in the presence of Executive Magistrate (Eastern) Priya Rani Gupta and senior police officials, while Senior Superintendent of Police Harpreet Kaur said, “Nothing has been found so far at the shelter home premises where digging is underway.”
Nothing has been found so far at the shelter home premises where digging is underway. We are conducting a thorough investigation, police is working independently: Harpreet Kaur, SSP, Muzaffarpur on Muzaffarpur shelter home alleged rape case pic.twitter.com/tBYNQGlFtb
— ANI (@ANI) July 23, 2018
Back on 21st May, 21 girls were rescued from the shelter and sent for medical examination out of whom 16 including a 7 YO were confirmed of exposure to sexual contact.
Later, medical tests of 29 out of 42 inmates confirmed rape.
Tata Institute Of Social Sciences (TISS) conversed with the inmates and released its reports of the social audit. According to News18, the rape survivors have been suffering from severe mental trauma to the point that they have even tried to inflict injuries and tried to kill themselves.
The sufferings of the girls didn’t end with sexual exploitation or rape. The girls bear burn and torture marks all over their bodies suggestive of extreme atrocities. Injection marks were also present on their skin and indicate towards the possibility that the girls were being drugged too.
“Imagine how you will feel if girls between seven and 17 years old from your family of the village were raped brutally by state-sponsored animals.” RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav missed no chance to politicise the issue and Target Nitish Kumar- led government in a tweet.
सोचिए? अगर आपके परिवार और गाँव की 7 से लेकर 17 वर्षीय बहन-बेटियों के साथ सत्ता समर्थित व प्रायोजित हैवान महीनों तक दरिंदगी से दुष्कर्म करते रहें तो कैसा लगेगा? बिहार में बलात्कारों की बाढ़ सी आयी हुई है और सरकार साहेब है कि मुँह खोलने के लिए तैयार ही नहीं है। कुर्सी प्यारी है ना! pic.twitter.com/242b8sQjaj
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) July 23, 2018
NDTV reported that a special investigation team has been set up, which will look into the case. The state government has requested people to keep a look-out for any suspicious activities in their neighborhood.
We still can’t take out the thought of the buried dead body of a girl in the premises of a shelter home from our minds. If it’s true, it’s scary. It’s scarily awakening. In no section of society, in no corner of inhabitation, with no hands, our girls, or rather say our children are safe. Security of our children is not any mud to throw at each other’s face. It’s a responsibly all of us must collaboratively shoulder.