Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case: Brajesh Thakur, 11 Others, Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Sexual Assault
On Tuesday, February 11, a Delhi Court sentenced Brajesh Thakur and 11 others to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting girls in a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district.
On January 20, the court had convicted Thakur of offences which included aggravated penetrative sexual assault under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, rape and gang rape under the Indian Penal code (IPC), Section 75 (cruelty to child) of the Juvenile Justice Act, among other offences.
The incident came to light after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) submitted a report to the Bihar government mentioning the alleged sexual abuse of minor girls in the shelter home for the first time on May 26, 2018.
The case was transferred from a local court in Muzaffarpur to a POCSO court in Delhi on the Supreme Court's directions on February 7, 2019.
The CBI on February 4 had sought life imprisonment for Thakur, citing "rape is a crime of lust and power" and urging that no leniency should not be shown to the convicts as the victims were minors.
Rosy Rani, former assistant director of child protection unit in Muzaffarpur, was also convicted of offences under section 21(1) (failure to report the commission of an offence) of the POCSO Act.
Public Prosecutor Amit Jindal had informed the court that the five convicts, Thakur, Dilip Kumar Verma, Ravi Roshan, Vikas Kumar, Vijay Kumar Tiwari, who were convicted, should be sentenced to life imprisonment considering the heinous crime they had committed.
Rama Shankar Singh and Ashwani, two of the accused, were convicted of criminal conspiracy and abetment to rape.
Former Bihar Social Welfare Minister and former JD(U) leader Manju Verma also received flak when links between her husband and Brajesh Thakur were found. This led to her resignation on 8 August 2018.