Facing severe criticism from Opposition as well as public over the rape of 34 girls in a government-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday broke his silence and promised strict and uncompromising action against people found guilty.
Terming the incident a “shameful sin”, Nitish Kumar said, "What has happened has shamed us. It is a sin. Such cases should not happen again. CBI is investigating the case. Let High Court monitor the probe. Those responsible for this must be taught a lesson.”
The Bihar CM promised that “there will be no compromise" and assured that those responsible for this would be taught a “lesson”.
“I would like to assure everyone that no leniency will be shown towards anyone, all those found guilty will be severely punished,” ANI quoted Nitish Kumar as saying.
As many as 34 girls, aged between seven to 14 years, were drugged, raped, scalded with boiling water, and forced to sleep naked in a government-run shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur.
The girls in their statement recorded before a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court said that they were forced to sleep with the owner of the shelter home – Brajesh Thakur - a well-known name in the power corridors of Patna.
CM Kumar came under the severe attack by the Opposition party RJD leader and his former deputy Tejashwi Yadav, who accused him of shielding his own cabinet ministers who had links with the main accused and owner of the shelter home.
After initial opposition to the CBI probe, the Bihar government relented under pressure and handed over the case to the central agency. So far, ten people, including the owner of the shelter home, have been arrested by the police.
Bihar Cabinet Minister Manju Verma's husband is also accused of frequently visiting the shelter home, where 34 girls were raped and tortured over a period of four years. When asked about her husband's role, Manju had no answer and she chose to evade the questions.