11 girls missing from Bihar shelter home likely murdered
NEW DELHI: The grim story of Muzaffarpur’s “house of horrors” has got bleaker. The CBI told the Supreme Court on Friday that its investigation and questioning have revealed that 11 girls from the notorious shelter home are missing and are feared to have been killed.
The CBI probe into the home run by main accused Brajesh Thakur, who flaunted his connections, makes for a depressing account of helpless young girls, invariably from poor backgrounds, not missed even in death.
The inmates, who have spoken of sexual exploitation and missing girls,- have given CBI 11 names.
In an affidavit, the CBI said rape survivors spoke of the girls who were said to have been killed by Thakur. It said it is verifying- the allegations and divulged that it has excavated a bundle of bones from a location where a girl was apparently buried by the- accused, adding it has not yet invoked murder charges as the investigation is in progress.
The possible deaths have seen the CBI scrutinising details in the shelter home records where it found 35 girls with identical or similar names, who at one time or the other were at the Balikagrih.
“The victims during their examination in the presence of experts of Nimhans had murdered by Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices. These allegations are being duly investigated in the right earnest in the instant case by scrutinising the master register maintained at the Balikagrih to locate the bodies and through field-level verification as to the existence of the girls alleged to be murdered,” the affidavit said.
Refuting the allegation that it was trying to protect influential people by not invoking murder charges, the CBI said the identification of victims was still on and any allegation of questioning the agency’s motives was misplaced.
The agency’s affidavit came on an application by social activist Nivedita Jha who alleged that the CBI was trying to protect Thakur and other accused despite the statements of victims. The petition, filed through advocate Fauzia Shakil, said the- investigation conducted by the CBI was not only “incomplete but ex facie also appeared to be hogwash”.
Responding to allegations that it had not booked outsiders who visited the shelter home and raped the victims, the affidavit said, “All efforts were made to trace the perpetrators of crime. After ascertaining the identity of perpetrators through proper investigation, a chargesheet has been filed against them. Investigations regarding the outsiders have been properly carried out and a chargesheet filed against all such persons.”
The petitioner alleged that victims in their statements before the judicial magistrate had made reference to one “tondwale uncle netaji” (politician with a paunch) and to a “moochwale uncleji” (uncle with moustache) who used to visit the shelter home but the agency had not tried to find them.
“It is evident from the statement of the victims that a large-scale prostitution racket was being run by Brajesh Thakur. From the perusal of the chargesheet, it is apparent that the CBI is trying to shield the real perpetrators and has intentionally avoided to investigate the leads given by the victims,” the petitioner said.
The petition said it is unclear from the chargesheet whether identity sketches have been prepared by the CBI on the basis of physical description of the perpetrators given by the victims.