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In Major Show of Unity in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi Joins Tejashwi's Protests Against Bihar Shelter Home Rapes

Lending support to Tejashwi's protest, Rahul Gandhi said that if Bihar CM Nitish Kumar really feels bad about what happened, he should take the matter to the Supreme Court and get an independent CBI probe done.

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Updated:August 4, 2018, 10:05 PM IST
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In Major Show of Unity in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi Joins Tejashwi's Protests Against Bihar Shelter Home Rapes
Sitaram Yechury, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, D Raja and others at the protest on Saturday. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and several other opposition parties, including Congress, on Saturday held a candle march at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the alleged sexual exploitation of 34 minors at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. The former Bihar deputy CM was joined by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in his dharna that soon turned into a show of opposition unity. The collective demand from Jantar Mantar read: “Death penalty for all offenders within three months.”

Leading the protest, Yadav demanded prime accused Brajesh Thakur be “hanged till death”.

In a show of unity, the protest was also joined by CPI leader D Raja, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, former JDU leader Sharad Yadav, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi, former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid.

“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. The ruling party has only worked towards saving the accused and using all possible ways to bypass the law,” said Yadav at the protest.

Yadav also alleged a lackluster approach by the state machinery that has led to a delay in investigating the Muzaffarpur rape case. “Even after the report of Child Commission was out, no action was taken. FIR was lodged two months after the Tata Institute report came out and in that, too, name of the prime accused Brajesh Thakur was missing somehow. Brajesh has been a close aide of Nitish Ji,” Yadav added.

Taking a personal stance, Yadav also said that he has seven sisters who have daughters as well and is ashamed of the fact that people in the country are not able to protect women.

Lending support to the cause, Gandhi said, “If Bihar CM Nitish Kumar really feels bad about what happened, he should take the matter to the Supreme Court and get an independent CBI inquiry done as soon as possible.”

Kejriwal said that this is the same Jantar Mantar from where the Nirbhaya protest rocked the foundation of the then UPA government and this time it’s about 40 Nirbhayas. He demanded “death sentence for the accused and political figures defending him.”

On Friday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke his silence over the incident and said that it has shamed the government, adding that those found guilty will be “severely punished“.

“Muzaffarpur mein aisi ghatana ghat gayi ki hum sharamsaar ho gaye. CBI jaanch kar rahi hai, High Court iski monitoring kare (The incident in Muzaffarpur has shamed us. The CBI is investigating it and I want the High Court to monitor it),” Kumar said.

The shelter home came under the spotlight following a social audit report by TISS, which detected large-scale complaints from inmates of sexual exploitation. Medical examination of the inmates confirmed sexual exploitation in the case of 34 of the 44 girls. The police registered a case against 11 people, including Brajesh Thakur and Madhu Kumari, on May 31. All 44 girls have since been shifted to short-stay homes in Madhubani, Patna and Mokama.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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