[ad_1]

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Tuesday sentenced Brajesh Singh Thakur — who ran a children’s home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district where 44 girls were sexually exploited — and five others to imprisonment for the rest of their lives and slapped Thakur with a fine of over Rs 32 lakh for committing sexual crimes.
Additional sessions judge Saurabh Kulshreshtha also sentenced five convicts in the case to life imprisonment while handing 10-year jail terms to six others. Two more persons got relatively minor sentences.
Thakur and 18 others, including nine women, were convicted on January 20 of committing or abetting sexual assault on 44 minor girls at the Muzaffarpur shelter.
The court said Thakur was the de-facto owner of the home, and managed and controlled its affairs. The 156-page sentencing order said this was not a solitary case of rape but a “meticulously planned” and “ingeniously executed” conspiracy where care-givers and administrators in the shelter home turned into “predators”.
The order noted that the minor girls were subjected to aggravated penetrative sexual assault over a span of about four years.
Calling Thakur the “kingpin” of the conspiracy, the court said, “The convict is not a young boy, but a mature, experienced politician charged with a plethora of crimes.”
Thakur, who was expected to display compassion and sobriety, betrayed the trust and faith of the girls living there, the judge observed. “It is not a fit case for adopting the reformative and therapeutic approach,” argued the court.
“In this era, where protection of the girl child and emancipation of women are avowed societal objectives, it is lamentable that the minor girls housed in a state-monitored and state-funded children’s home… were subjected to such horrendous acts,” the court observed.
Given the rising number of sexual crimes against children, the offences had to be dealt with an iron hand to send a strong message and deter others from committing such heinous crimes, it added.
Along with Thakur, the court, dealing with cases under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, sentenced Ravi Kumar Roshan, a child protection officer in Muzaffarpur who was entrusted with the responsibility of inspecting and supervising the functioning of the shelter home, to serve the rest of his life behind bars. Likewise, Vikas Kumar and Dilip Kumar, both members of the local child welfare committee (CWC), were sentenced to life imprisonment for “the remainder of natural life”.
Two employees of Thakur, Guddu Patel and Vijay Kumar Tiwari, were also sentenced to life terms for the remainder of their lives for “committing gang rape on multiple occasions”. The court observed that Tiwari would “physically assist” Thakur in committing sexual crimes by gagging the victims and grabbing their hands. Thakur’s servant, Krishan Kumar, was awarded a life term.
Three women convicts – Minu Devi, Kiran Kumari and Shaista Praveen – were also given life imprisonment for abetting rape, along with Ramanuj Thakur.
The court sentenced Rama Shankar, Aswini, Manju Devi, Chanda Devi, Neha Kumari and Hema Masih to 10 years in prison, and Indu Kumari to a three-year jail term.
Indu, Minu, Hema and Kiran were shelter home employees.
Convict Rosy Rani, additional director at the child protection unit of the social welfare department, was convicted under Section 21(1) (failure to report commission of an offence) of the Pocso Act. She was awarded is six months, which she had already served.
The court on January 20 convicted Thakur and 18 others for offences including section 120 b (criminal conspiracy) and abetment, besides section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 21 (failure to report commission of an offence) of the Pocso Act, as well as section 75 (cruelty to child) of the Juvenile Justice Act.
To prove its case, the prosecution had examined 69 witnesses whereas the defence examined 20 witnesses. The CBI in its chargesheet alleged that 44 girl inmates of the home were administered sleep-inducing drugs in the garb of de-worming medicines. When the girls fell unconscious, the accused sexually assaulted them. The case was transferred from Bihar to a special court in Saket, Delhi, after a Supreme Court order on February 7, 2019.
The matter was handed over to the CBI in July, 2018 and filed a chargesheet against 21 accused in the case in December 2018.
Thakur and seven women office bearers of his NGO, Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, had been sent to jail on June 3, 2018 after an FIR was lodged in the case.



[ad_2]

Source link