File photo of Tejashwi Yadav. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The Rashtriya Janata Dal has called for a nationwide strike on Friday, demanding the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar against the alleged mass sexual exploitation at various shelter homes in the state.
On Thursday, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav told ANI: "RJD will hold a strike in Bihar and across the country, including at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on August 4 to seek answers from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Muzaffarpur shelter home case and several other crimes in the state."
Eleven employees of a child shelter home in Muzaffarpur were arrested on July 24 for allegedly sexually harassing the inmates. After receiving information, the police raided the vicinity and rescued 44 girls.
Yadav even criticised the Bihar government of shielding the accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault case after a photo of its owner Brajesh Thakur being felicitated by Nitish Kumar emerged.
"Photos of top leaders honoring the accused (Brijesh Thakur) corroborate that several senior leaders are involved in this case and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is trying to shield them. Probe was delayed deliberately to manipulate evidence," Tejashwi Yadav said.
This came after the Left Parties and groups in Bihar called for a state-wide bandh in Patna on Thursday against the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal. The protest in the city was also supported by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) members.
According to media reports, the protesters blocked railway tracks and several roads around the vicinity of the city.
On a similar note, the Supreme Court on Thursday took suo motu cognizance in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.
The apex court division bench, headed by Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur and also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, issued notice to the Bihar Government and the Centre seeking a detailed reply from them in connection with the same.
Even the state police on Wednesday raided another shelter home run by Brijesh Thakur after a case was registered against him over the disappearance of 11 girls from the safe haven.
Thakur is the prime accused in Muzaffarpur's shelter home case, where more than 30 minor girls were sexually assaulted over a period of time.
The CBI had taken over the investigation from Muzaffarpur's Mahila Police Station, where the case was registered on May 31, under Section 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 376 (outraging the modesty of a woman), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 4, 6, 8, 10,12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO).
The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was uncovered more than a month ago by a Mumbai-based social science institute. They had submitted its report in April and the Bihar social welfare department approved another project to Thakur on May 31 for beggars' shelter in Patna.