The number of victims in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case has gone up to 34 after a fresh medical report confirmed rapes of 5 more girls.
Earlier, medical reports of 42 inmates of 'Balika Grih' in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district had confirmed rape of 29 girls, aged between seven and 17.
The alleged rapes of inmates for months at the government shelter home had come to light after a social audit report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Of the 42 girls housed at the home, run by NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, medical tests so far have confirmed sexual assault on 34. While girls were allegedly forced to undergo abortion, one was allegedly killed an buried on the shelter home campus.
The shelter home had entered into an agreement with Social Welfare Department, Bihar on October 24, 2013, and commenced its operations on November 1 the same year. According to its records, altogether 471 girls have stayed there at some point of time, of which four ran away and three died. An investigating officer said they are trying to find out these "missing" girls too.
"At least three or four of the girls told us that they had got pregnant during their stay and were forced to undergo an abortion," said a source at Patna Medical College and Hospital, where the victims underwent examinations. The minor had scars on their private parts which may have been caused by sharp objects, said the source. "So we cannot rule out that they were forced to abort."
Recounting their horrors in the statements they have made before the magistrate under Section 164, most of the girls said they were repeatedly raped by the owner of the NGO Brajesh Thakur, a local strongman and small-time journalist. Some of the girls said they were tortured, drugged and raped almost every day.
Three girls had alleged that one inmate was murdered and buried on the campus prompting the police to dig up the ground in search of the body on Monday. However, nothing was found immediately.
Under fire from the opposition, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday recommended a CBI probe.
Ten out of 11 accused have been arrested, including the patron of the NGO which ran the shelter home and the then district child protection officer, have been arrested.
Meanwhile, RJD legislator and leader of the opposition in Bihar Legislative Assembly, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav today launched a ‘cycle yatra’ against “increasing incidents of crime against women in the state.”