Leaders from several opposition parties, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, joined a protest against Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, organised by RJD at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Saturday. In a massive show of opposition unity yet again, all the leaders were seen holding hands and supporting each other in the cause.
Gandhi said the leaders here had assembled not just for the 40 girls, but for all the women in country. He also dared Nitish Kumar to take action against the culprits.
"Nitish Kumar said yesterday that he is ashamed of the incident. Well, if he is really ashamed, then he should take stern action immediately," the Congress President said today.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, who helmed the protest rally, took several potshots at Nitish Kumar, accusing him of shielding accused Brajesh Thakur as he was "close to the chief minister."
Apart from Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief Arvind Kejriwal, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury are some of the opposition leaders who joined the protest rally to support the cause.
Earlier on August 2, a day-long bandh called by the Left organisations to protest against the case and the alleged atrocities against Dalits in the state.
Several opposition parties including the RJD, the Congress, the Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Loktantri Janta Dal (floated by former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav) also lent their support to the bandh.
Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, has also invited Congress president Rahul Gandhi to attend the dharna.
"Leaders from many parties will be a part of our protest tomorrow at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Rahul Gandhi has also confirmed his presence," Tejashwi told news agency ANI.
Tejashwi Yadav has been attacking the Nitish Kumar government over the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal involving sexual abuse of 34 girls for months.
On Thursday, when Yadav announced his decision to hold the dharna on Twitter, he had urged "all to attend" the protest against "heinous institutional mass rape in Muzaffarpur".
Tejashwi also wrote a letter to chief minister Nitish Kumar, raising serious concern over the safety of girls in Bihar. “Having seven sisters, it pains me to even imagine what the little girls at the shelter home were forced to undergo. It is a most shameful incident. When we raised it in the assembly, the government tried to mislead the house. Were they not Bihar’s daughters? Has our conscience died? Whatever happened with the girls amounted to betrayal of their trust, given that they were promised protection there. What they got in return was physical, mental and sexual torture. The culprits should be hanged once their guilt is established in court,” he wrote.
11 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.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court also took suo motu cognizance in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.
The Apex court's division bench headed by Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur and also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta issued a notice to the Bihar Government and the Centre seeking a detailed reply from them in connection with the same.
The chorus for Nitish Kumar's resignation has grown after a photo of the owner of the shelter home, Brajesh Thakur being felicitated by the Chief Minister emerged.
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.
Reacting on Brijest Thakur, Tejashwi said; "we want Brajesh Thakur to be hanged till death. If you see the number of crimes in Bihar has increased in the past one year. Cases of gangrape are being reported back to back from various districts of the state."
"Even after the report of Child Commission was out no action was taken. FIR was lodged 2 months after Tata Insititute report came&in that too name of prime accused Brajesh Thakur was missing. Somehow Brajesh has been a close aide of Nitish Ji", he added.
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