CBI Nabs Quack Who Got Girls Sedated in Muzaffarpur Shelter Home
Ashwani allegedly used to visit the shelter home to administer injections laced with sedatives to the inmates.
A local court on Wednesday, 21 November sent accused Madhu and Dr Ashwini to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remand for five days.
This development comes after CBI arrested a quack on Tuesday, 20 November from a remote part of the district in connection with the shelter home sex scandal in Muzaffarpur.
Ashwani, who practised quackery in the district's Kurhani block, was arrested and brought to the CBI camp office in town by the investigating agency following information that he allegedly used to visit the shelter home to administer injections laced with sedatives to the inmates, official sources said.
Two close aides of Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the shelter home sex scandal case, including his associate Shaista Parveen alias Madhu were arrested by the CBI on Tuesday, 20 November, officials told PTI.
What Led to the Recent Arrests?
Ashwani’s arrest occurred hours after Madhu’s interrogation by CBI, who couldn’t be traced for months. CBI was on the lookout for Madhu as she allegedly managed many NGOs and other enterprises run by the alleged kingpin.
Madhu, who appeared at the district court premises, told the media that she was "privy to no secrets" and had not appeared before the CBI or the police since she was never named as an accused nor a warrant was issued in her name.
A resident of Chaturbhuj Sthan locality in Muzaffarpur, Madhu claimed that she decided to approach the investigative agency on her own since her family numbers were being questioned by the investigators.
‘Missing’ Former Bihar Min Surrenders
Ashwani’s arrest comes hours after former Bihar minister Manju Verma surrendered. Verma, who had been evading arrest in an Arms Act case lodged in the course of investigations in the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal surrendered before a local court which remanded her to judicial custody till 1 December.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Manjhaul Sub-Division, Prabhat Trivedi passed the order after a medical team examined the condition of the former minister, who fell unconscious several times after reaching the court in a three-wheeler. She had kept her face covered with a shawl and sari.
Verma, along with her husband Chandrashekhar Verma, was named in the Arms Act case lodged with the Cheria Bariyarpur police station August this year. This followed recovery of a huge quantity of ammunition from their residence during a CBI raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal.
Verma had stepped down as the social welfare minister following allegations of close links between her husband and Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the scandal.
The Supreme Court, while monitoring the progress of investigation in the scandal on 12 November, had rapped the Bihar Police for its failure to arrest the former minister and directed the DGP to appear in person on 27 November if she was not caught by then.
The police had subsequently moved an application before a court here Saturday, 17 November, to proclaim Verma an absconder following which a notice to the effect was affixed on her house and her property was attached.
Her husband had surrendered before the court on 29 October.
What Is the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case All About?
In 2017, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was asked to audit all state-run shelter homes by the Department of Social Welfare of the Government of Bihar. Three months after they submitted their report, an FIR was registered against eleven people, for the alleged rape and torture of thirty-four out of the forty-four girls, all aged between 7-14 years, staying in a Muzaffarpur shelter home.
The owner of the NGO that ran the shelter home, Brajesh Thakur, was arrested on 2 June, although he hardly spent any time in prison since he was shifted to the hospital ward of Muzaffarpur district jail. The charge sheet reveals that the girls were drugged using syringes, there were signs of sexual and physical assault, some girls had undergone abortions, and some were pregnant at the time of their rescue.
(With inputs from PTI)
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