The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the transfer of the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, Brajesh Thakur, to a high-security jail in Punjab’s Patiala district, PTI reported. He is currently lodged in Bihar’s Badarpur jail.
The alleged sexual exploitation of children at the shelter run by Thakur came to light after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in Bihar in April. The audit had been ordered by the state government, which filed a first information report against 11 people, including Thakur, on May 31. A medical report confirmed the sexual assault of 34 inmates at the Muzaffarnagar home.
The top court had earlier issued Thakur a notice and asked why he should not be shifted out of Bihar. “What is the Bihar government doing?” the bench had said. “Brajesh Thakur is a very influential man.”
The Supreme Court also asked the Bihar Police why former state minister Manju Verma had not yet been arrested over the recovery of ammunition from a house owned by her husband. Fifty cartridges were found in the house during a search conducted in connection with the shelter home rapes. Verma’s husband, Chandrashekhar Verma, allegedly has links with Thakur. Also, the wife of an accused in the rape case has alleged that he was a regular visitor at the shelter. Chandrashekhar Verma surrendered before a court in Begusarai on Monday.
“Just because she [Manju Verma] happens to be cabinet minister doesn’t make her above the law. The whole thing is highly suspicious,” said the bench. “Why has she not been arrested? It’s too much. Nobody is bothered about the law.”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a list by Wednesday of Central Bureau of Investigation officers who have been part of the investigation since September 20, ANI reported.
A bench of Justices MB Lokur, SA Nazeer and Deepak Gupta expressed shock after an advocate informed the court that the girls in the shelter home had been given drugs. “These girls are being injected with drugs so that they can be raped. What is this going on?” the bench asked.
The Supreme Court had on Thursday said the details of the investigation into the rapes were “horrible” and “scary”.