Bloodcurdling, heartbreaking and infuriating victim accounts have been accessed by a Republic TV investigation into the horrific mass-rape at a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur, along with information about an alleged coverup and attempt to protect politicians who may be involved.
More than ten victims from the Balika Grih, which is backed by state-funded NGOs Sewa Sankalp and Vikas Samiti run by main accused Brajesh Thakur, have given their testimonies, revealing the atrocities that they were subjected to by their 'sir' at the home where, as per the police, 34 of 42 rescued girls were either raped or molested.
Eleven employees at the home have been arrested following the mass-rape being brought to light by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) a month ago -- a period during which Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hasn't offered any substantive statement regarding the matter.
In the first of two testimonies that have been aired by Republic TV (in the video above), the probe officers speak to three girls, all seemingly minors. Here's a transcript of the conversation:
First testimony -
Probe Officer: What? What did she say? Come here
Probe Officer: Sir? (Showing the picture) What did he do?
Girl 1: He hit me.
Probe Officer: How did he hit you?
Girl 1: He hit me here.
Probe officer: After removing your clothes?
Girl 1: (nods)
Girl 2: He removed her clothes and hit her.
Probe Officer: What's his name? (While pointing towards the picture)
Girl 2: I can't remember.
Probe Officer: You forgot?
Girl 2: Yes.
Probe Officer: But who is he? What is he to you?
Girl 3: 'Head Sir'
Probe Officer: He is your 'head sir'?
Probe Officer: He hit you? Where did he hit you?
Girl 2: He took her to the terrace and hit her.
Girl 1 confirms.
Second testimony -
Probe officer: You see this picture? Who is the man in the picture?
Minor: He is our Sir. He was in the authority.
Probe officer: Do you know his name?
Minor: I don't know his name.
Minor: He used to do wrong things. Whenever we would go down, he would do wrong things.
Probe officer: Has he done wrong things with others also?
Minor: Yes, he has.
Probe officer: Other would also come?
Probe officer: People would come from outside
Probe officer 2: Would you not tell him, 'please don't do it, it's painful'?
Minor: I would say it, but he never listened to me.
Probe officer: But he was unwell. How could he do anything? (Brajesh Thakur appears to have a condition)
Minor: He is unwell now. He was absolutely fine earlier. He would wear his spectacles and move around with his head high.
Probe officer: Would you not say, 'Sir, I'm like your daughter. Please don't do this'.
Minor: No matter how much I would say, he never listened
The other victims, three of whom are 7-, 10-, and 15-years old, also reveal the horrors they went through, including accounts of allegedly being tortured, abused and beaten by a 'Kiran aunty' who would also facilitate others, and often multiple people, sexually abusing the minors. Some of the victims named the people who ran the home and were involved in the abuse, as well as details of how they would operate. Three girls even said that an inmate at the home had been murdered and buried inside the campus.
Republic TV has also accessed the police's supervision report, which reveals more of the depravity that was unleashed on the minors at the home:
On page 6: One minor victim, in her testimony, speaks about how the aforementioned Kiran Aunty used to forcibly send them to another room and make them do 'bad things'
“Jor-zabardasti har ratri mein bacchiyo ko doosre kamre me lekar galat kaam karvaati thi.”
On page 5, Brajesh Thakur finds mention, regarding how on his instruction horrific things had been done to many minor girls. When they protested, they were beaten.
“Brajesh sir dwara bhi inke aavam aanya bacchiyo ke saath galat kaam kiya gaya tha jiska virodh karne par baalikao ke saath maarpeet bhi kiya jaata tha”
On page 6, one victim from the shelter home recalls how sleeping pills were mixed with their food and after they fell asleep, they were sexually abused. The staff knew about what was going on but nobody said anything
“Khaane mein neend ki goliya milaye di jaati thi. Neendh ke baad inke saath gala kaam kiya jata tha. Koi kuch nahi bolta tha”
Also regarding the sleeping pills, a 10-year old victim talks about how girls were being sedated and offered to clients who came to the shelter home to rape
“Aunty Brajesh ke kamre mein jaakar sone ki baat bolte thi aur kisi se milne ki baat kaha karte the”
The same 10-year-old victim said that after they were sexually exploited, the staff (Kiran, Neelam, Chanda and Hema Aunty) would simply declare “iska kaam ho gaya” (Their work is done)
On page 7 a victim talks of how she was told by another girl from the shelter about how Brajesh killed one girl and put her behind the tank. Another girl says three-four girls were killed.
“Brajesh sir ek ladki ko markar tanki ke peeche daal diya”
On page 8, one of the girls said they used to repeatedly scratch and torture them
“Nooch nooch kar karaoch dete the”
And on Page 11, it confirms that Brajesh Thakur is well connected politically:
"Brajesh Thakur ka bade bade padhadhukari, mantriyo evam rajnitik dalo ke saath network hai”
The original audit report by TISS had said:
'The shelter home is running in a highly questionable manner with grave instances of violence. Several girls reported about violence and being abused sexually. This is very serious and needs to be further investigated promptly. The girls had no access to any sort of open space and were literally locked up in their wards, except for when they went to the dining hall to take their meals.'
The family of Ravi Roshan (Child Protection Officer, Muzaffarpur), who has been arrested in the case has alleged that he has been arrested because he was exposing the atrocities at the home and had written to the Bihar government expressing the need for CCTV cameras at the home. He had also allegedly said that the husband of Bihar Minister Manju Verma used to visit the NGO and was allegedly involved in the exploitation of minors. Ravi Roshan's family also claims that a Rajesh Raushan, who is one of the promoters of the NGO and an aide of Brajesh Thakur, had been named by the girls but that Rajesh Raushan's name was replaced by Ravi Roshan's. The Family has sought the resignation of Manju Verma alleging that she could influence the investigation.
As of Wednesday, the CBI has taken over the case.