The Bihar government on Sunday suspended six officials of a state child protection unit over the alleged rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, reported PTI.
The assistant directors of Muzaffarpur, Munger, Araria, Madhubani, Bhagalpur and Bhojpur districts were suspended on grounds that they did not act even after being informed about the alleged sexual abuse, reported IANS.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, meanwhile, asked the media to not keep focusing on a few “negative things” that have occurred in the state. “Those who are guilty and the people protecting them will be jailed,” ANI quoted Kumar as saying. “We will not spare anyone. We have not made any compromises till date.”
The government took action after the Rashtriya Janata Dal protested at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday against the alleged rapes, which reportedly occurred last month. Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India leaders D Raja and Atul Kumar Anjan and Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav also took part in the demonstration.
Kejriwal accused the Nitish Kumar-led government of turning a blind eye towards the plight of the girls who were allegedly harassed and assaulted at the shelter, Firstpost reported. He also blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remaining silent while rapists were being shielded in Bihar.
On Friday, Nitish Kumar called the rapes a “matter of shame”. Referring to this, Gandhi said: “If Nitishji is really feeling ashamed, then he should take immediate action.”
Kumar had earlier asked state Director General of Police KS Dwivedi to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Three days after the state government’s request, the CBI booked the shelter’s officers and employees.
Meanwhile, the head of a non-governmental organisation in Madhubani said one of the 44 girls from the Muzaffarpur shelter shifted there last month had gone missing despite adequate security, ANI reported.
On July 23, the Bihar Police excavated the ground at the shelter home to look for the body of a girl allegedly buried there after being raped. An inmate of the home, run by Seva Sankalp Evam Vikash Samiti, had informed the police about the body.
The police initially said 16 girls had been sexually assaulted. Later, the figure was revised to 34 on the basis of a medical report released by the Patna Medical College and Hospital. Ten of the 11 accused have been arrested so far.
The sexual exploitation came to light after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report in April and the government filed a first information report on May 31.