Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s image of ‘Sushashan Babu’, a sobriquet earned by him for establishing rule of law in the state, is under threat. Nitish is under consistent attack after an audit report of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, Mumbai) had disclosed that minor girls at the short stay home in Muzaffarpur were subjected to physical violence and sexual abuse.
After the expose, the opposition has launched a blistering attack on Nitish even demanding his resignation from the top post.
RJD, which was often accused of bringing ‘jungle raj’ to the state during its 15-year-long rule, is spearheading the attack finding Muzaffarpur incident the first major opportunity to launch a major offensive against the Nitish government.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s youngest son and leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav is leaving no stone unturned to corner Nitish.
Ruling JD(U) finds itself in a tight spot, as the name of state Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma’s husband Chandreshwar Verma had also surfaced in the case. BJP too is not completely insulated from the growing heat after the name of its senior leader and state Urban Development and Housing Minister Suresh Kumar Sharma is being linked to the unsavoury incident.
Both the ministers refuted the allegations, claiming that these were baseless. They also asserted that they would resign from their posts if allegations were proved correct.
Incarcerated child protection officer`s wife had alleged that the Minister`s husband often visited the short stay home, on the other hand, Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, without naming Suresh Sharma, had accused him of being involved in the scam.
It has all helped RJD to turn the tables on the Chief Minister, who has always sought to project his clean image as his USP.
However, since Lalu family itself is facing accusations of amassing benami wealth of huge proportions through sham companies and other methods, it would be interesting to watch how successful RJD would be in mobilising support in its favour by lambasting Nitish on Muzaffarpur incident.
Facing onslaught by a stiff Opposition over sexual abuse of girls at Muzaffarpur`s short stay home, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already recommended a CBI probe in the case.
Even after government`s recommendation for CBI probe, the opposition, particularly RJD, has not softened its attack on the Nitish government, demanding that the CBI probe into the unsavoury incident should be monitored by the Patna High Court.
Altogether ten persons, including director of the NGO running the short stay home Brajesh Thakur, have been arrested so far in connection with sexual exploitation of girls. The NGO was engaged by the state social welfare department for running the short stay home.
In all, 11 people had been made accused in the case related to sexual exploitation of girls being run by the NGO, ‘Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti’. After the expose of the case, 42 out of 44 girls put in at the short stay home were medically examined and it was confirmed that 29 of them were sexually exploited.
A case in this regard has been filed under section 376, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) against the Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, the NGO which runs the children home.