Muzaffarpur shelter home-like incident reported in Patna, police yet to take action

After the 2018 Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal, a girl inmate of a Patna shelter home has alleged that she and others were sexually assaulted on the direction of its Superintendent
Rape Sexual Violence
Rape Sexual Violence

After the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal, which emerged in 2018, a purportedly similar incident has been reported in Patna, where a girl inmate of the shelter home alleged that she and others were sexually assaulted on the direction of its Superintendent.

The victim has seeking redress for the last few days but Bihar Police have not registered any FIR in this matter. Moreover, the Social Welfare Department has given clean chit to the Gaighat shelter home’s Superintendent Vandana Gupta and declared that the victim mentally unstable.

Now, the Mahila Vikas Manch and a Supreme Court advocate have come forward to help the victim.

The victim alleged that she was given drugs by the Superintendent and other employees and sexually assaulted by men inside the premises.

“I was a victim of sexual assault for many times inside the shelter home. The Superintendent of the shelter home used to invite youths inside the premises who targetted girl inmates in an unconscious or semi-unconscious stages. I realised sexual assault had been committed many times when I woke up in the morning. Several inmates have the same story,” she said.

Mahila Vikas Manch convener Veena Manvi said: “The victim was released from the shelter home recently. When, she came to our NGO for some assistance or possible recommendation that may help to find a job, we asked about her health status and she revealed her plight.

“We immediately went to the women police station at Patna city but the officer refused to register an FIR in this matter.”

“The district administration of Patna played a negligent attitude in this matter. The District Magistrate, SSP and other senior officers tried every possible way to suppress the voice of the victim. The Social Welfare Department has issued a letter in the matter and given a clean chit to the Superintendent without any investigation,” said Seema Samridhi, a Supreme Court lawyer who also fought the Nirbhaya case of Delhi, and has come to Patna to prosecute this case.

“Following the Nirbhaya case, if any girl is alleging that she was sexually assaulted or abused by any person, the police should register FIR first and then start investigation. In this case, the victim is a roaming from pillar to post for the last 5 days and no one is listening to her. Moreover, they tried every possible way to declare her mentally challenged.

“The way the victim has levelled allegations against the Superintendent of the shelter home, it reflects that some big fish are involved in this matter. The accused Superintendent is still holding the post. We are thankful that the Patna High Court has taken cognisance of this matter and slammed the Bihar government on Thursday,” Samridhi said.

“Whenever heinous incident like this appears in public domain, the governments of respective states always try to suppress the voice of the victim. In this case too, the Bihar government is doing the same. They did the same in the Muzaffarpur shelter home incident and they are doing it again,” she said.

Samridhi said that the government should immediately arresta Gupta and form a high-level inquiry committee, including officials of Mahila Vikas Manch to investigate the incident. The committee should be monitored by the Patna High Court so that the officials would not influence the victim.

“There are 250 to 300 girl inmates below 18 years of age are lodged inside the Gaighat shelter home. They should undergo counselling so that the truth would come out,” she said.

When contacted, Gupta refused to comment on this matter. She said that senior officials are looking after this case.

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