Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal: Court extends CBI remand of Brajesh Thakur's aides
Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Dec 3: A court here Monday extended the CBI remand of two close aides of Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal, by three days.
Special judge R P Tiwari, hearing cases filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, extended the CBI remand of Madhu Kumari, who managed many of Thakur's NGOs, newspapers and other businesses, and Ashwini -- a self-proclaimed medical practitioner who was attached to the shelter home as a "doctor".
The two were arrested two weeks ago and have been in the custody of the central probe agency since November 21. Media reports have alleged that Ashwini used to administer injections laced with sedatives to the inmates of the home with the help of Madhu, after which the girls would be subjected to sexual abuse. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, produced both Madhu and Ashwini in the POCSO court after the period of their remand expired Monday.
On the probe agency's request, the court extended their remand by three days. Madhu, who could not be traced by the CBI for months, was arrested on November 21. She had made a dramatic appearance the previous day at the local CBI office, claiming that she had come to "cooperate" in the probe since she was miffed at the inconvenience faced by her family members when the agency sleuths visited her house in order to find out her whereabouts.
Ashwini was arrested on November 20 from his village in Kurhani block of the district. The alleged sexual abuse of the inmates at the Balika Grih in the Sahu Road locality came to light following a social audit of Bihar's shelter homes by the Mumbai based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
An FIR was lodged in this connection on May 31 against 11 persons, including Thakur, who was running the shelter home. As the issue rocked the state legislature and Parliament, a CBI inquiry was recommended by the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government in July.
A fortnight later, state Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma stepped down following reports of close links between her husband Chandrashekhar Verma and Thakur.
Thakur, who was initially shifted to Bhagalpur in view of the fact that he was a "renowned citizen" and his presence in Muzaffarpur could come in the way of a fair probe, is currently lodged in a jail in Punjab's Patiala following a Supreme Court order.