Bihar Shelter Home Girls Recount Horror

Grisly details are trickling in of the months-long rape and torture of girls as young as seven at a shelter home in Bihar run by the state. A 16-page chargesheet said more than 30 girls were violated while doctors confirmed the abuse carried out by the staff of the Muzaffarpur home as well as its owner, a local strongman named Brajesh Thakur.

The case has already made headlines in the national and even international media, bringing much shame and outrage. According to media reports, the girls revealed that they were drugged, raped, forced to sleep naked and scalded with boiling water. An examination of the premises threw up liquor bottles and condoms.

The abuse at the home, Seva Sankalp Samiti, was exposed during a social audit of Bihar NGOs by Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Ten people, including Thakur, have been charged and there are allegations of involvement of police, politicians, the administration and even criminals in the case.

Revealing the victims’ trauma, a report in The Indian Express quoted a counseller as saying that the girls “are filled with anger and aggression…. (and) were continuously fighting, abusing each other or crying”.

Another report said the girls referred to Thakur as “Hunterwala Uncle” and were repeatedly beaten by him for resisting the assaults. “The girls had cut themselves on their hands with glass in frustration and despair during this cycle of abuse,” a spokesperson at Bihar women’s commission reportedly said.

Quoting from the chargesheet, an NDTV report said a woman referred to as “Kiran would force the girls into rooms where ‘galat kaam hota tha’ (wrong things happened)”. Some inmates alleged that one of them got pregnant and was thrashed. She lost the child. Yet others said one girl was killed and buried near the building for refusing to comply with demands. Another girl who ran away was brought back, tied up and beaten brutally.

The youngest to be raped at the home was a seven-year-old mute child, while the oldest was 18.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar broke his silence on the case on Friday, expressing “shame and guilt”.]]>

United Oppn humiliates BJP in byelections

कैराना और नूरपुर की जनता, कार्यकर्ताओं, उम्मीदवारों व सभी एकजुट दलों को जीत की हार्दिक बधाई! कैराना में सत्ताधारियों की हार उनकी अपनी ही प्रयोगशाला में, देश को बाँटने वाली उनकी राजनीति की हार है. ये एकता-अमन में विश्वास करने वाली जनता की जीत व अहंकारी सत्ता के अंत की शुरूआत है.

— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 31, 2018 However, opposition leaders saw a big boost for strengthening non-BJP unity with the ruling party losing Kairana Lok Sabha seat in the politically important UP to a united Opposition after a communally-charged election campaign, while the result in the Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra was similar. The BJP retained another Lok Sabha seat from Maharashtra, Palghar, where it had faced its own ally Shiv Sena, but the Opposition could not put a united fight. BJP’s Rajendra Gavit won the seat, defeating Shiv Sena’s Shrinivas Wanaga. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, however, alleged “discrepancies” in counting of votes for Palghar. In Nagaland, the fourth Lok Sabha seat for which bypoll was held on Monday, went to BJP’s ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). While the Lok Sabha bypoll results were equally divided at 2-2 between the BJP-led alliance and the opposition parties, figures for the 10 assembly bypolls came as a big setback for the ruling party which could win just one (in Uttarakhand). The Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab) and others got six — JMM two in Jharkhand; CPI (M), SP, RJD and Trinamool one each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively. The Congress also won one assembly seat in Maharashtra without contest after all other parties withdrew their candidates. The Congress, which retained RR Nagar assembly in Karnataka and another in Meghalaya, termed the bypoll results as the people’s mandate against four years of the Modi rule and the beginning of the end of the BJP empire. “The writing on the wall is clear. The BJP’s exit and success of the Congress and its allies are guaranteed,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told reporters. The results appeared more marked against the BJP after taking into account the parties that had held these seats earlier. While the BJP alliance retained two LS seats — one in Maharashtra and another in Nagaland — it lost two others — UP’s Kairana and Maharashtra’s Bhandara-Gondiya. The BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the party will analyse the cause of defeat in the two LS seats. In assembly seats, the BJP and its allies failed to retain Noorpur in UP and Shahkot in Punjab, while Congress, CPI (M), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Trinamool retained their respective seats. The BJP retained Tharali in Uttarakhand, but lost Noorpur in UP. SP’s Naeemul Hasan trounced BJP’s Avni Singh in Noorpur. In Bihar, RJD won minority-dominated Jokihat by defeating BJP ally JD(U) by a huge margin. A buoyed Tejashwi Yadav of RJD said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who dumped the RJD and the Congress last year to join hands with the BJP to form a new coalition government in the state, should resign if he has some conscience left. Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said one has to take two steps backward before a big leap and the BJP is “going to take a massive leap.” BJP’s Subramanian Swamy, however, had a word of caution for the party and said the “this huge setback in by polls is due to Hubris”. “But the trend is easily reversible if party stops rewarding sycophancy and has more participatory decision making ethos amongst those leaders whom the public find credible. BJP has infrastructure to bounce back but needs a new ethos,” he said. AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the results reflect the anger against the Modi government. The UP results came as the biggest upset for the BJP with the joint opposition candidate, RLD’s Tabassum Hasan, winning in Kairana. The seat had fallen vacant after death of the BJP candidate Mriganka Singh’s father, Hukum Singh. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav called the results “a defeat of divisive politics” and congratulated all opposition parties for the results. RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary said the opposition unity will continue and the results showed that “Jinnah hara, Ganna jeeta” — referring to the recent controversy over the Pakistan founder’s portrait and the problems being faced by sugarcane farmers. (PTI)]]>