In a fresh breakthrough in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal case, two close aides of Brajesh Thakur — the prime accused in the case — including his associate Shaista Parveen alias Madhu were arrested by the CBI on Tuesday, officials said.
The CBI alleged that the girls at the shelter home were taken to Parveen's residence where they "were taught dance and soliciting men" but she claimed she was not an accused and no warrant had been issued against her.
"I have nothing to fear as I was not even associated with the shelter home which is under scanner. I did work for Thakur but I have no knowledge of what happened there," Parveen told reporters.
The CBI officials took her inside their camp office located in the district court premises in Muzaffarpur. She was accompanied by her lawyers. "I am ready to extend full cooperation to the CBI, though I am privy to no secrets. I cannot say whether Thakur was involved in any illegal activities. Although I also handled the affairs of some of his newspapers, I deny reports that I used to liaison with ministers and other VIPs to promote Thakur's business," she said before going inside the CBI office.
Immediately after her arrest, the CBI nabbed Dr Ashwani Kumar who allegedly used to administer sedative injections to girls. Ashwani, who practiced quackery in the district's Kurhani block, was arrested and brought to the CBI camp office in the town by the investigating agency following information that he allegedly used to visit the shelter home to administer injections laced with sedatives to the inmates.
Parveen was a resident of Chaturbhuj Sthan locality in the town and had come in contact with Thakur a few years ago when a drive was launched to rehabilitate girls from a red light area there. Media reports claimed that she used to manage the affairs of all NGOs owned by Thakur, including the Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti which ran the shelter home where inmates were sexually abused.
Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday, former Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma, who is believed to have links to the case, had also surrendered before a court in Begusarai district on Tuesday. This came after weeks of absconding and the Supreme Court criticising the Bihar Police repeatedly for failing to trace her. She has been sent to a 14-day judicial custody.
Manju Verma's husband Chandrashekhar had surrendered before the same court on 29 October after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found 50 live cartridges from their home in Bihar's Begusarai during a raid conducted in connection with the Muzaffarpur case. The couple was then booked under the Arms Act. On 1 November, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Manju Verma after the Supreme Court pulled up the Bihar government and questioned why she had not been arrested.
Under immense pressure from the Opposition, the Bihar government had referred the matter of to the CBI. The case relates to mental, physical and sexual exploitation of girl children residing at the Children Home at Sahu Road, Muzaffarpur.
The CBI has booked officers and employees of the shelter home in question — Balika Grih, Sahu Road Muzaffarpur. "It is alleged that officials/employees of Girl's Children Home run by Seva Sankalp Evam Vikash Samiti used to mentality, physically and sexually exploit girl children residing at the said home," CBI spokesperson said.
The matter had come to light earlier this year when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The audit report stated that many girls at the shelter home had complained of sexual abuse.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 09:03:05 IST