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CBI to probe Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in shelter home case

Patna: A court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur has directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry into the involvement of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and two senior officials in the infamous shelter home sexual exploitation case, officials said on Saturday.

Besides the Chief Minister, special POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court judge Manoj Kumar on Friday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the role of Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Dharmendra Singh and Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Atul Prasad.

The court’s order came as it heard a petition filed by accused Ashwani, a self-claimed medical practitioner, demanding an investigation into the role of the three.

According to a charge sheet filed in the case, Ashwani used to visit the shelter home to allegedly administer sedative-laced injections to the inmates before they were subjected to sexual abuse.

In view of on the FIR filed by the Bihar Social Welfare Department in May 2018, Based on which social audit was conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai “Muzaffarpur horror” came into light.

Brajesh Thakur, a journalist-turned-social activist heading the NGO which ran the shelter home, and other accused were arrested. The matter was handed over to the CBI in July last year.

State Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma was forced to resign after the opposition protests over reports that her husband and former Janata Dal-United legislator Chandreshwar Verma allegedly had close links with Thakur.

Following Supreme Court order Thakur has been shifted to high-security Patiala Jail and other accused his close associate with some government officials are kept in Patna and Muzaffarpur Jail.

The trial of the case was this month shifted to Delhi.

On the direction of the Apex Court the CBI took over the case of allegation of sexual abuse at all the Shelter homes in the state.

Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson Bhai Virender demanded resignation of Nitish Kumar following the court order. “Nitish Kumar was involved in the case and was protecting the accused and trying to suppress the facts since the beginning,” he said.