Patna (Bihar), Aug 12: A 40-year-old woman and an 18-year-old girl from the Asra shelter home here died on Friday night and their post-mortem was also conducted at Patna Medical College but the officials of the Patna shelter home failed to inform the police. The police said that the Patna shelter home officials tried to hide two deaths and neither the police nor the Social Welfare Department was informed of the incident.

The two inmates of the shelter home were taken to the hospital where the doctors declared them brought dead. A part-time employee of the shelter home, identified as Ram Nagina Singh alias Banarasi, was arrested after police received complaints from the inmates of the Aasra shelter home that he was trying to persuade them to flee.

“We visited the shelter home and questioned the inmates and others. We also interrogated Banarasi. It appeared that he had, indeed, asked some of the girls to run away and promised them gifts,” Sudhanshu said.

The incident was reported to the police this morning probably by an insider at the home. After the arrest of Banarasi, the police interrogated the shelter home employees for several hours on Friday but no one informed the police of the two deaths.

“While the shelter claimed the inmates died during treatment at Patna Medical College, the hospital authorities said they were brought dead. We were informed about the deaths this morning,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Sudhanshu said.

The Patna shelter home incident has been reported weeks after the Muzaffarpur rape cases came to light. As many as 34 girls were tortured, raped, burnt and starved by operators and visitors in a shelter home in Bihar. Earlier the number was reported to be 29.

“It was not 29, but 34 girls who were raped at the Muzaffarpur shelter home,” Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harpreet Kaur said. Under pressure from the opposition, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had ordered a CBI inquiry in the case.

The Bihar shelter home assault case came to light in a social audit report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The report was based on the conversation with several girls at the home.

Weeks later, 24 girls were rescued from the shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria last week after one of them told the police that they were being sexually abused.