The National Human Rights Commission today send a notice to the Bihar government and the state's police chief in connection with alleged sexual exploitation of girls at a state-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur district, while observing that authorities have "failed miserably" in protecting their dignity.
"A shelter home is supposed to give security and protection to girls but under no stretch of imagination, can the shelter home be a playground for predators for their monstrous and vulturous activities, which are against the human dignity and sobriety of the women," the rights panel said.
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Medical examinations of 29 of the 42 shelter home inmates have confirmed that they were sexually exploited, Bihar's Director General of Police K S Dwivedi had said.
A senior official of the NHRC said that it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report and issued notices to the chief secretary and the DGP of Bihar, directing them to enquire into the matter and submit a report within two weeks.
There were 44 girls living in the facility run by an NGO under the supervision of the Social Welfare Department. The child protection officer of Muzaffarpur District has been arrested in connection with alleged sexual exploitation.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim girls.
"However, in the instant case, the girls have apparently become victim of rape at the instance of the protectors in the shelter home, as the government officials and the shelter home staff have been allegedly found to be involved in the incident," the NHRC said in a statement.
"The state and the local administration have failed miserably to protect the rights and dignity of the victim girls," it observed.