Days after it came to light that 29 out of 42 inmates of a state-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar were allegedly raped for months, the medical report of more girls have revealed that five more girls of the shelter had been raped at some point of time.

The number of girls who were allegedly raped has now gone up to 34. According to media reports, 10 out of 11 accused have been arrested by the police.

Amid huge media outcry, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar handed over the investigation into the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday.

Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said the state government would request the Patna High Court to monitor the probe.

Recommending a CBI inquiry, Kumar directed the chief secretary, the director general of police and the principal secretary (home) to immediately hand over the case to the central investigating agency, a government release said.

“A deplorable incident has taken place in Muzaffarpur, where the police have been carrying out a diligent investigation. Although the government was committed to conducting an impartial probe, the decision for handing over the probe to the CBI has been taken to dispel the ‘bhram ka vatavaran’ (environment of rumours/falsehood) that was being created,” it said.

The alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at the shelter home had come to light in the report of a social audit conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

An FIR was subsequently registered on a complaint by the state social welfare department and 10 persons, including the patron of the NGO which ran the shelter home and the then district child protection officer, were arrested.

The non-governmental organisation running the shelter home has been blacklisted and all the girls have been shifted to homes in neighbouring districts.