Bihar’s social welfare minister Manju Verma’s resignation may have been mainly due to media pressure as her husband’s links to the key accused in the sexual harassment and rape of 34 inmates of the Muzaffarpur shelter home were exposed by phone call records. This is the first resignation by a politician in the horrific sexual scandals that have erupted in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh shelter homes. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has promised no one will be spared and action taken against the perpetrators of such exploitation of destitute children. A few officials were suspended and the prime accused is in jail. A lot more must be done if the whole truth is to be established. The worst social vermin are those trafficking in women and girls and commercially exploiting them. They are even more of an evil in society than seeking sex for cash.
Anyone who has exploited these minor girls should be booked for rape. It remains to be seen if the probe will go into who the “customers” were — who used the procurement services of these monsters, exploiting the vulnerability of young girls in shelter homes. The horror stories of torture and rape have shocked the nation, that too from homes given generous State funding for feeding, protecting and educating orphaned children. Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has sought a social audit of 9,000 such shelter homes. This must be carried out, but long before that severe action should be taken against those acting as procurers. Let’s not shy away from the truth that exploiters are the worst criminals in a land earning increasing notoriety for rapes.