India

If minister found involved, she will have to go: Nitish Kumar

CM said his government had decided to run such shelter homes across the state directly.

Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday that if social welfare minister Manju Verma is found involved or if anything is found against her in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal, she may be asked “to go”.

Kumar said this in response to the Opposition demand for the resignation Verma in the wake of sexual abuse of girls at a state-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur. Verma is in the eye of a storm after the name of her husband cropped up in connection with the abuse case.

Claiming to have taken relevant actions against those accused in the case, Nitish Kumar also suggested that shelter homes shouldn’t be run by NGOs, rather the government should have control on them for better functioning. He said his government has decided to run such shelter homes across the state directly. Kumar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his weekly public interaction programme “Lok Samvad”.

Blames the system for rapes

“There is no doubt in this that the incident has ashamed the whole society. The officials started investigating the matter soon after the TISS report highlighted the issue. When these people were investigating the matter, slowly a misconception was observed in the mind of people. Thereafter the case was handed over to the CBI,” Nitish Kumar said.

“There is a flaw in the system. We have ordered an investigation. However, I think people are free to speak up their minds. We have nothing to do with that. We are concerned about this incident,” he added.

‘Opposition leaders on dharna were laughing’

  • After drawing criticism over the infamous Muzaffarpur shelter home case, Nitish Kumar on Monday condemned the recently held sit-in protest in the national capital by the Opposition and said it was a mere effort to divert people’s attention from real issues like corruption.
  • Nitish said, ‘I saw photographs of them (Opposition leaders) sitting in ‘dharna’ and laughing. I was surprised to see the people, who took part in the candle march. A minister, who was earlier criticised for using foul language against women, also took part in that protest. The dharna was done to divert attention from corruption in politics. These people are not as much concerned about women safety as we are.”
  • The sit-in protest and candle march, which was held on Saturday and was attended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, MPs including Tejashwi’s sister Misa Bharti and D Raja, Bihar’s former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, former MP Sharad Yadav among others.

Meanwhile, BJP comes out in full support of Verma

  • Defending Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma, who is in the eye of a storm after the name of her husband cropped up in connection with an abuse case, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday said his party is in full support of her.
  • Taking to Twitter, Modi said, ‘BJP is fully in support of Manju Verma. No charges against her.’
  • ‘Making an allegation is different from guilt being proven in an investigation. Some people had even levelled allegations against a minister from our party,’ Modi said, in an obvious reference to urban development minister Suresh Sharma, who is also the Muzaffarpur MLA.
  • Modi’s remarks came immediately after Nitish said that if Verma is found involved or if anything is found against her, she may be asked ‘to go’.

Patna HC to monitor probe

The Patna High Court on Monday accepted the Bihar government’s request to take up monitoring of CBI investigation into the case of sexual abuse of girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur and ensure its speedy trial by appointing a special judge.

(With inputs from PTI)

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