Two days after he agreed for a Patna High Court-monitored CBI probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape incident, Nitish Kumar on Sunday suspended thirteen officials, Including six Assistant Directors and seven Child Protection Officers (CPO) of Social Welfare Department for their lax approach.
Of the thirteen officials, six are in the rank of Assistant Directors. The suspension order, issued by the Director of the Social Welfare Department Raj Kumar, says that they have been suspended as they did not take any action on the report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
The Bihar Government had roped in TISS for social audit of different shelter homes in the State. It was only after the TISS submitted its report, it came to light how minor girls and destitutes in shelter homes, as well as short-stay homes, were sexually abused for months.
“Those who have been suspended include Divesh Kumar Sharma (Muzaffarpur), Seema Kumari (Munger), Ghanshyam Ravidas (Araria), Kumar Satyakam (Madhubani), Geetanjali Prasad (Bhagalpur) and Alok Ranjan (Bhojpur). All the suspended officials, in the rank of Assistant Director, have been charged with turning a blind eye to the TISS report,” a senior Government functionary told Deccan Herald here on Sunday.
ANOTHER GIRL MISSING
Meanwhile, more skeletons are still tumbling out of the shelter home cupboard. One more girl has been found to be missing from a short-stay home in Madhubani. This shelter home is being run by Pragya Bharti, who is the wife of the private secretary of Nitish’s close aide Sanjay Jha.
“She is the wife of PA of Sanjay Jha – most close aide of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. He is national general secretary of JD (U), member (Bihar State Planning Board) and former MLC,” tweeted Tejashwi Yadav, attacking Nitish more fiercely. Sanjay Jha was earlier BJP MLC before turning a Nitish’s confidant.
Pragya Bharti, however, told a news agency that she had adequate security at her shelter home but “somehow a girl went missing due to security lapse or conspiracy. This should not be made a political issue.”
In Patna, Nitish too exhorted media to focus on the positive news instead of highlighting a negative incident.