This is a brilliant example of rags-to-riches and riches-to-rags story.
In April 1987, a young man from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district Brajesh Thakur—now the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal—had joined the family business of running the newspapers and then diversified his business into NGO field.
He grew very fast and very soon became a media baron, literally. He owned as many as three newspapers—Pratah Kamal (Hindi daily), News Next (English daily) and Halaat-e-Bihar (Urdu daily).
Many say the newspapers earned him attractive revenue even as his NGOs continued getting good funds from the government to run a shelter homes for girls, old age home, Swadhar Kendras (residential vocational training centres) and a centre for handicrafts.
But, he committed a small mistake–he failed to take proper care of girls lodged at his shelter home and denied them the opportunity to live with dignity. The very mistake has cost him dear now.
His downfall began soon after the Tata Institutes of Social Sciences (TISS) came across sexual abuse of girls lodged at Muzaffarpur Balika Grih, shelter home for girls being run by Thakur’s NGO, Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti.
The TISS came to know of the horror story during the audit of the shelter home and mentioned the story in detail in its audit report.
The TISS report led to the registration of a case against Thakur and others, and ultimately his arrest. He is currently cooling his heels in Patiala jail in Punjab.
But this was just the beginning of his financial disaster. Even as the trial in the case continues, Muzaffarpur district administration has ordered for demolishing Thakur’s building housing the girls’ shelter home.
The demolition was ordered as the building had been constructed in utter violation of the set rules, authorities said. According to Muzaffarpur municipal commissioner Sanjay Dubey the state government had approved the map for construction of G+1 building but Thakur constructed the G+3 building.
According to officials, the building was, as such, a “horror home” for the inmates since three-storied home had no ventilation facility nor they were allowed to go out as per their will.
Another big setback for Thakur came when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) confiscated his 12 properties worth crores of rupees on 24.09.2019.
The seized assets included the shelter home, RN Palace Hotel, Swadhar centre, and other properties located in various parts of Muzaffarpur district.
On 25.09/2019 again, the ED officials confiscated his various properties located in Muzaffarpur and Samastipur districts.
In March this year again, the ED sleuths had confiscated various properties of Thakur which included 26 plots of land, three vehicles, balance in 37 bank accounts and various investments worth over Rs7.3 crores. The properties and bank accounts were owned by Thakur and his family.
Thakur surely must have been repenting for his mistakes.