Patna: Under pressure from opposition, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday recommended a CBI probe into the alleged rape of over 40 minor girls in a government-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur district.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister's office here, Nitish Kumar has directed Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar and Director General of Police S.K. Dwivedi to hand over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Describing the series of rapes committed as "a heinous crime", the Chief Minister said: "The state government is committed for an impartial probe into it", the release added.
Union Hone Minister Rajnath Singh had said the Centre was ready for a CBI probe into the case only if the state government requested for it.
For the last four days, an aggressive opposition consisting of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha, and the Left parties were demanding the central probe into the rapes and a possible murder.
The opposition had questioned the government's reluctancy alleging that it was trying to save the accused.
The Patna High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the rapes on the basis of news reports. It set the date for the next hearing on July 26.
The court has also directed the Bihar government to explain its side during the hearing.
The shelter home had been sealed after the alleged sexual abuse of the girls came to light during a social audit conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
The report of the audit was submitted to the state Social Welfare Department, which directed officials to lodge a complaint.
Last week, a medical examination of 44 girls of the home had revealed that 21 of them were raped. The district police have arrested an official of the home but the main accused is still absconding.