The National Commission for Women said on Friday that a former inmate of the Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar was not reunited with her family despite court orders, and was not given any protection when she moved back to her hometown, PTI reported.

Four men allegedly raped the inmate in a moving vehicle in Bettiah town of West Champaran district in Bihar last week. Three of the men have been arrested, and one detained.

“She was sent to Mokama from Muzzaffarpur shelter home,” the National Commission for Women said in its report. “Her father had to apply for her release in Mokama to get her back in Bettiah, her hometown.”

The commission also noted that the inmate had been married though she is a minor. “The age proof of the victim is not valid her Aadhaar card denotes her age to be 11 years, while as per the medical examination it should be between 16-17 years, though she claims her age to be 18,” the report said. “She was operating her bank account on her own despite it being a minor account. She got school admission in a class as per her choice without the right age proof. She got married despite she being a minor.”

National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma travelled to Bihar on Thursday to meet the complainant, along with other panel members. Sharma met the complainant and her family, and directed the police to send her to a rehabilitation home.

In her complaint, the girl said the men dropped her near her home after the assault. She alleged that the men, two of whom are brothers, belong to the same family. The commission had formed an inquiry panel last week.

Muzaffarnagar shelter home case

The Muzaffarpur shelter home made news last year after it emerged that more than 30 girls were allegedly sexually assaulted there. It 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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