The Patna Police on Monday said they arrested the manager and secretary of a shelter home for women with mental illnesses during an investigation into the deaths of two inmates at the facility, PTI reported. The police also booked a doctor and an auxiliary nurse midwife who worked at the shelter. Rajiv Nagar Police Station House Officer Rohan Kumar confirmed that a first information report was registered against the four accused on Sunday night.
The arrested accused have been identified as the shelter’s manager Chirantan Kumar and the facility’s secretary Manisha Dayal. “The postmortem reports of the two inmates rule out the possibility of any external injury,” PTI quoted the police official as saying. “But their viscera has been preserved for further investigations.” Officials said two of the accused have been remanded to police custody for three days, ANI reported.
The hospital’s superintendent said a medical board was conducting a fresh postmortem, The Indian Express reported. “The postmortem was conducted first by a single doctor, but we were asked to get the postmortem done again by a medical board,” Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, the hospital’s medical superintendent said.
District Magistrate Kumar Ravi and Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj questioned the manager and the secretary of the Nepali Nagar-based shelter home. “It was a lapse on part of the shelter home authorities and the hospital administration as neither of the two informed the police stations concerned before the postmortem was conducted” Patna Inspector General of Police NH Khan told NDTV.
On August 10, the deceased – a 40-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl – were taken to the Patna Medical College and Hospital. “While the shelter claimed the inmates died during treatment at Patna Medical College, the hospital authorities said they were brought dead,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Sudhanshu had told NDTV. “We were informed about the deaths on Sunday morning.”
Meanwhile, Bihar Minister Shyam Rajak refuted reports and photos that linked him to the accused, ANI reported. “I am a social worker and I have social responsibilities,” Rajak told the news agency. “These two persons came and invited me for a women’s cricket programme. I went and attended it during which this photo was clicked. I had no clue about their shelter home.”
On August 10, the police arrested a 50-year-old employee at the shelter for helping inmates escape the facility.
The incident comes within weeks of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. At that shelter, 34 girls were allegedly sexually assaulted. The wife of an accused official claimed that the husband of state social welfare department minister Kumari Manju Verma frequently visited the Muzaffarpur shelter home and “spent long hours” in the girls’ room, the Hindustan Times reported.