Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday called the Muzaffarpur incident “condemnable” and said that the Central Bureau of Investigation is conducting an inquiry into the case. He added that the state government acted on information received from TISS but had no knowledge prior to that. The case was handed over to the CBI to avoid any confusion, the chief minister said.
Nitish further said that if someone at a minister-level is found to be involved, they will be punished. Referring to reports of Bihar minister Manju Verma’s husband being accused of regularly visiting the shelter home, Nitish said that Verma has denied any involvement. However, if someone related to the minister is found guilty, they won’t be spared too, he said in response to Opposition demand for Verma’s resignation.
Nitish also asked if it’s justified to level baseless allegations. “No one who had committed a crime will be spared,” he said.
Putting the blame on the long-standing “flaw in the system” of such shelter homes being run by NGOs in the entire country, Kumar announced his decision to phase out this practice in Bihar and said the state government would take over administration of all such centres over a period of time. He said Verma can be asked “to go” only if she is found to have facilitated any wrongdoing and not because of some “noises” — a stance that found support from his deputy and BJP leader Sushil Modi.
Taking a dig at people raising questions, he asked who knew about the Muzaffarpur incident before their investigation. In an apparent reference to the Opposition protest, the chief minister said that the protest was held to scuttle the debate on corruption. He added that the political leaders protesting against the incident are not concerned about the girls but, only want to change the debate.
Kumar also took potshots at his former party colleague Sharad Yadav and other Opposition leaders for attending a protest in the national capital on the issue, organised by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, saying it was amusing to see people having spoken unkindly of women holding candle lights at an event organised by a person facing corruption charges.
#BREAKING — I don’t feel that the politicians who are protesting are concerned about the girls who have been sexually assaulted in Muzaffarpur, they just want to change the debate: @NitishKumar on #BiharHomesOfHorror pic.twitter.com/SB6uBFNbQZ — News18 (@CNNnews18) August 6, 2018
Earlier also, Nitish had said that “no leniency will be shown towards” the guilty. “We are ashamed of the incident which has taken place in Muzaffarpur. CBI is investigating the case and the high court should monitor it,” he had said.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha has been marred with protests over the Muzaffarpur shelter home case. Two MPs from Bihar on Monday staged protests in the Lok Sabha demanding justice for victims of the Muzaffarpur case, claiming evidence of the crime was destroyed.
As soon as the House took up the day’s proceedings, Congress member Ranjeet Ranjan and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav came to the Well protesting against the alleged sexual exploitation of young girls at the shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. The two MPs alleged that before the case was handed over to the CBI by the Bihar government, evidence was destroyed and said they wanted to raise the issue.
There has been uproar in the Lower House of Parliament with the Congress demanding Union minister Rajnath Singh’s response.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 06, 2018 20:25 PM