A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Saturday detained the son of Brajesh Thakur - the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home alleged sexual assault case - from the premises owned by them.
The CBI team conducted a thorough search for 11 hours with the help of forensic experts, sifted through documents and interrogated people close to him. The team, which had reached Thakur's Sahu Road residence at around 9 am, left at around 8 pm with his son Raul Anand.
Anand is the publisher and editor of Hindi daily "Pratah Kamal", the office of which is situated within the same premises as the residence and the shelter home which have since been sealed.
Headed by DIG Abhay Kumar, the CBI team was flanked by a number of armed commandoes who locked the main gate of the premises from inside, preventing entry of media persons and a number of other curious onlookers.
The CBI team is understood to have inspected the shelter home after getting its seal opened, and collected documents and other items it found to be of value in the investigation.
CBI sleuths also inspected the courtyard, which was dug up last month by the police, following allegations by inmates that one of the girls was beaten to death by staff members a few years ago and her body was buried at the spot. Nothing incriminating was found after the day-long excavation and the eight-feet-deep pit was again filled up.
The CBI deployed heavy earth mover machines at the site but no excavation took place during the day.
In the same case, Bihar Police on Saturday recovered a list of 40 mobile phone numbers from Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the rape of 34 minor girls who is lodged in Muzaffarpur Central Jail, during simultaneous raids on prisons across the state, police said.
According to police, the officers spotted Thakur in the visitors’ area of the jail and recovered two handwritten pages with 40 mobile phone numbers and the names of those they were issued against.
A district administration official said the names of some powerful people, including a minister, were written on two pages recovered from Thakur during the search.
Bihar Police on Saturday conducted raids on over a dozen of jails in the state and recovered objectionable items from prisoners.
Thakur has spent five days in the Muzaffarpur Central Jail since he was arrested on June 2.
“He has been staying in the medical ward of the jail on health grounds and managed to avoid staying in the prisoners ward,” the police said.
The Patna high court is monitoring the ongoing CBI investigation into the case.
Thakur, who is in jail, heads the NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vika Samiti, which ran the state-funded shelter home where sexual abuse of more than 30 inmates has been confirmed in medical tests.
The Bihar government had cancelled the registration of the NGO earlier this week.
Sexual exploitation of girls at the shelter home first came to light in the report of a social audit conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, which was submitted to the state social welfare department in April.
The FIR in the case was registered on May 31 against 11 people, including Thakur. On July 26, the Bihar government recommended a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Bihar social welfare department minister Manju Verma had to resign after links of her husband with the key accused Brajesh Thakur surfaced.