The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Bihar government why there was no inspection of the shelter home in Muzaffarpur where at least 34 girls were allegedly raped over the last four years. “Girls are being raped left, right and centre,” the top court said. “Every six hours a girl raped in the country.”
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences informed the court that it had red-flagged 15 shelter homes in a report on the rapes, including the one in Muzaffarpur, NDTV reported. “People and money are given to these non-governmental organisations managing shelter homes since 2013 but the Bihar government didn’t inspect them,” the bench comprising Justices MB Lokur, Deepak Gupta and KM Joseph observed.
The state government’s counsel told the court that nine first information reports had been filed in the case and suspects arrested. Some police officers have been suspended, the government said. This includes Inspector Vinod Kumar Singh, who has been suspended for negligence of duty, ANI reported.
As many as 10 out of 11 suspects have been held so far. The state’s counsel told the court that one of the girls is still missing, but ANI reported that she has been found.
The Supreme Court, which had taken suo motu cognisance of the case, had also issued notices to the state government and Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. The court will hear the matter next on August 14.
The inquiry into the case has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier this week brushed off calls for the resignation of Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma. The wife of one of the accused had claimed that Verma’s husband had visited the shelter home. But Kumar said on Monday that Verma has denied her husband’s involvement.