The police in Bihar’s Bettiah town have booked four men for allegedly raping a former inmate of a Muzaffarpur shelter home that made news last year after it emerged that more than 30 girls were allegedly sexually assaulted there, PTI reported on Monday.

Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant said a first information report has been filed against the four, ANI reported. “The investigation done so far is limited to this case only,” he said, adding that the woman was sent for a medical test.

Station House Officer Shashi Bhushan Thakur said the woman filed a complaint on Saturday and was admitted to a government hospital the same day.

In her complaint, she stated that the assault took place in a moving vehicle on Friday evening. The men then dropped her near her home. The woman alleged that the men, two of whom are brothers, belong to the same family.

The National Commission for Women has formed a committee to look into the rape. The committee, headed by NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma, will travel to Bihar this week to meet the woman, the state police chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Our member from Bihar makes regular visits and escalated increasing cases of crime against women but things don’t seem to improve,” Sharma said. “I’ll discuss all cases in person with DGP Bihar, and also the Bihar chief minister if possible.”

“She is already a victim, rather than helping her out, she has to go through this,” Sharma said.
“We will give her all help that she needs or asks for. We will have to ensure her safety as well.”

The alleged sexual exploitation of children at the Muzaffarpur shelter home came to light in April 2018 after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state. The audit was ordered by the state government, which filed a first information report against 11 people in May 2018.

At least 34 inmates were allegedly drugged and raped, according to law enforcement agencies. The Central Bureau of Investigation – in its chargesheet filed in December – alleged that the main accused, Brajesh Thakur, had coerced girls to dance to vulgar songs and have sexual intercourse with guests. Thakur is in a high-security prison in Punjab at present.

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