Six of seven girls who fled Mokama home found in Darbhangahttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/girls-including-muzaffarpur-shelter-case-victims-flee-shelter-home-5597799/

Six of seven girls who fled Mokama home found in Darbhanga

A police officer blamed non-cooperation from the shelter home management, alleging that they worked in a secretive manner and added that at times, they would not allow even women representatives from the government to meet the girls.

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A police officer blamed non-cooperation from the shelter home management, alleging that they worked in a secretive manner and added that at times, they would not allow even women representatives from the government to meet the girls. (Image for representational purpose)

Six of seven girls, who fled Mokama shelter home, recovered from Darbhanga

Six of the seven girls, who fled a Mokama shelter home on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday were recovered from Darbhanga. They were shifted to the short-stay home in the city after the Muzaffarpur shelter home closed last May. Four of the seven girls had alleged abuse at a Muzaffarpur shelter home.

The police said the incident took place at around 2 am Saturday. Officials found a grill of the shelter home cut open, but doubted if girls could have escaped from such a narrow passage. The staffers are being questioned; the administrator of the home refrained from commenting.

Patna DM and SSP reached the shelter home on Saturday morning.

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Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey told The Indian Express, “DM has gone to the spot. We have sounded an alert to all Government Railway Police stations to look out for the seven girls”.

A police officer blamed non-cooperation from the shelter home management, alleging that they worked in a secretive manner and added that at times, they would not allow even women representatives from the government to meet the girls.

The government had asked the shelter home management to run regular counselling sessions for the girls who had suffered trauma from the abuse.

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Another embarrassment for Bihar govt

The Supreme Court has already pulled up the Bihar government for several lapses in the case — it has rapped the government over police filing cases under lighter provisions and for not being able to arrest its former social welfare minister Manju Verma (who eventually surrendered before Begusarai court). Now, with seven girls missing from the Mokama shelter, the onus lies on the Bihar Police to act fast and trace the girls. As the case is being monitored by the Supreme Court, the state police is under tremendous pressure to trace the girls

The Muzaffarpur shelter home has been closed since last May. An investigation by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) revealed that several girls were sexually and physically abused at 17 shelter homes across Bihar.

After a case was filed on the basis of this report, 32 girls had told a Muzaffarpur POCSO court that they were sexually abused. The case is being investigated by the CBI.

In the Muzaffarpur case alone, which is being monitored by the Supreme Court, over a dozen persons including main accused Brajesh Thakur have been arrested.