The incident has also exposed the laxity in the security of the shelter homes in Bihar.
Patna: Nitish Kumar government was in for another setback after seven girls were found missing from a Patna based shelter home on Saturday.
According to the police, the incident occurred in a shelter home which was being run by Nazareth hospital in Mokama of Patna district. Speaking on the issue Patna District Magistrate Kumar Ravi said that, “FIR has been registered by the local police station and efforts are on to trace the girls who have gone missing”.
Sources told this newspaper that at least four of seven girls who were found missing were the witnesses in the Muza-ffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case which had surfaced in 2018.
“The incident could be an attempt to save big faces. The case is being monitored by the SC but I think that the victims are not safe under the current regime,” Leader of opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav said in a tweet.
The incident triggered a political storm in Bihar. Opposition leaders said that eyebrows are being raised because the incident occurred on a day when seven accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case were produced before the Saket Court.
“The incident could be an attempt to save big faces. The case is being monitored by the Supreme Court but I think that the victims are not safe under the current regime here”, Leader of opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav said in a tweet.
Reports suggest that the girls vanished at around 3 AM on Saturday and the police who arrived at the shelter home found tampered grill near the main gate.
“We are not ruling out any possibility. We are investigating all aspects and no one in the shelter home is out of our radar at the moment. Anything about the case can be discussed only after the probe is complete”, Rural SP Sanjay Kumar Singh said.
The incident has also exposed the laxity in the security of the shelter homes in Bihar. The Supreme Court on several occasions earlier had expressed dissatisfaction over the Bihar government’s lenient approach in handling the case.
Earlier this month the Court had transferred the shelter home case to Saket in New Delhi and directed the CBI to conclude the trial in six months. The matter was handed over to the CBI in July last year after opposition parties blamed the state government of interfering into the police probe to save “influential people” involved in the case.
Questions were also raised in the state assembly earlier this week after one of the accused Dr. Ashwani who was arrested last year for administering sedatives to the victims had filed a petition in the POCSO court seeking CBI probe against Bihar Chief Minister and others in connection with the case.
Torture and sexual abuse of 34 minor girls inside Muzaffarpur shelter home were exposed in the report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in March 2018. Eleven persons including Brajesh Thakur, the administrator of the NGO which was in agreement with the social welfare department to run the Muzaffarpur shelter home was arrested in connection with the case.