Muzaffarnagar shelter case: Nitish mocks opposition’s sit-in protest

Patna (Bihar): After drawing criticism over the infamous Muzaffarpur shelter home case, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday condemned the recently held sit-in protest in the national capital by the Opposition and said it was a mere effort to divert people’s attention from real issues like corruption.

Claiming to have taken relevant actions against those accused in the case, Nitish Kumar in his latest ‘Lok Samvad’ programme also suggested that shelter homes shouldn’t be run by NGOs, rather the government should have control on them for better functioning.

“There is no doubt in this that the incident has ashamed the whole society. The officials started investigating the matter soon after the TISS report highlighted the issue. When these people were investigating the matter, slowly a misconception was observed in the mind of people. Thereafter the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” Nitish Kumar said.

“There is flaw in the system. We have ordered an investigation. However, I think people are free to speak up their minds. We have nothing to do with that. We are concerned about this incident,” he added.

Nitish continued his tirade against the opposition parties said, “I saw photographs of them (Opposition leaders) sitting on ‘dharna’ and laughing. I was surprised to see the people, who took part in the candle march. A minister, who was earlier criticised for using foul language against women, also took part in that protest. The dharna was done to divert attention from corruption in politics. These people are not as much concerned about women safety as we are,” Nitish Kumar said.

The sit-in protest and candle march, which was held on Saturday and was attended by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, MPs including Tejashwi’s sister Misa Bharti and D Raja, Bihar’s former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, former MP Sharad Yadav among others.
Asked whether his coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to malign his image, Nitish said, “There is nothing like that. It’s a political thing. People say whatever they want.”

On being questioned about Bihar Minister Manju Verma’s involvement in the case, the Chief Minister said, “If someone related to the Minister is involved, they won’t be spared. But why is this issue being raised only now. We had called her and she denied any involvement. How is it justified to level baseless allegations?”
Meanwhile, Director General of Police K S Dwivedi said Brajesh Thakur, who is the prime accused in the case, was sent to hospital by the court.

“We requested for Brajesh Thakur’s remand but court didn’t allow; once we arrest someone, he is taken to judicial custody. We didn’t him to the hospital. Normally court asks for health report (of the accused). In the case of Brajesh Thakur also, on the basis of his medical report he was sent to the hospital,” Dwivedi said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken charge of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case and team has already reached Muzaffarpur for further investigation. They have collected all documents related to the case from the Social Welfare Department of Patna and the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The case came to light following a report of TISS in April.

Last month, 11 employees of the shelter home were arrested and 44 girls were rescued. The shelter home was run by Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the case who is behind bars now.

On August 1, the Bihar Police raided another shelter home run by Thakur after a case was registered against him over disappearance of 11 girls. (ANI)