The horrific incidents of sexual abuse of minor girls in a Muzaffarpur shelter home have shocked all of us. With the gruesome rapes of several minor girls in the Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, a balika grih (shelter home), in Muzaffarpur, there are also multiple shocking cases sexual abuse in other government-funded shelter homes across the state of Bihar.
The ruling BJP – JD (U) Government was finally forced to arrest few key accused in the Muzaffarpur case, including Ravi Kumar Roshan, the district child protection officer and Brajesh Thakur, caretaker of the stay home and forced to recommend a CBI probe in the issue. But all these tokenist measures took place months after the report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), pointing out the sexual exploitation of inmates at the short stay home for girls, which was submitted long back in April.
More shamefully, the Bihar state social welfare department sanctioned another project to the NGO running the shelter on May 31 — the same day police lodged an FIR against the NGO. There are also severe charges of sexual assaults against Chandeshwar Verma, the husband of Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma. But no action against him was taken so far. Further, the Bihar Government has done nothing to investigate the racket of sexual abuses in shelter homes in the entire state, not only in Muzaffarpur.
The BJP – JD (U) rule in Bihar has witnessed intensifying violence against women and shameless attempts by the administration to shield the culprits. We have not forgotten how Dika Kumari, a young Dalit girl, was assaulted and brutally killed – on the very premises of the school. Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, brands himself as an ambassador of girls’ schooling and women’s empowerment, and brands his Government as a champion of social justice. The continuing gruesome incidents of sexual violence expose the reality behind the tall claims.
On behalf of AISA, we demand immediate actions against all culprits associated with the vicious network of sexual harassment across the state of Bihar. A court monitored CBI enquiry must be initiated. The TISS report must be made public. And Nitish Kumar must resign now; he has no ethical claim to continue as the Chief Minister of the State. On 2nd August, all left parties have given a call Bihar Bandh demanding the resignation of BJP – JD (U) Government. We stand in rock solid solidarity with the common people of Bihar fighting against the Government patronage of increasing incidents of sexual violence in the state.
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