New Delhi: National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma will meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the state’s director general of police (DGP) to discuss the alleged rape last week of a former inmate of the Muzaffarpur shelter where an abuse scandal was uncovered last year.
Sharma told ThePrint that she and her team will visit the state Thursday to take up the increasing incidence of crime in Bihar with the DGP and the CM.
The 18-year-old victim had been living with her family since July last year, after leaving the shelter for destitute women where dozens of inmates were allegedly subjected to sexual abuse. She was reportedly on her way to a relative’s house in Bihar’s West Champaran district last Friday when four men pulled her into an SUV and raped her.
A video of the victim, seen in a niqab, detailing the crime has since gone viral. Latest reports suggest four arrests have been made in connection with the case.
Sharma said she will meet the teenager who had suffered the “horrific incident”.
“First, she suffered in the shelter home, then she had to go through this harassment… What kind of protection is she being given?” Sharma added.
“The NCW has been receiving increasing complaints from Bihar about violence against women — something needs to be done about this,” she said.
“I think the primary reason behind this is police apathy in the state. They don’t take women seriously, they unnecessarily delay filing the FIR,” she told ThePrint. “I will discuss all these matters with the state’s DGP.”
The Muzaffarpur shelter home
The Muzaffarpur sexual abuse scandal came to light after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) found in an audit that over 30 girls had been allegedly raped and assaulted at a state-funded shelter for destitute women and girls. Shelter owner Brajesh Thakur, who also ran a newspaper, has since been jailed.
In February 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the case to be transferred from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Delhi.