After a series of commercial films, actress Bhumi Pednekar is back with yet another hardhitting social drama, Bhakshak, which revolves around the sexual assault of women at a shelter home. The film is set to release on OTT on February 9, and it will see the actress play the role of a journalist.
When the trailer of the film released a few days ago, it created quite a buzz owing to the shocking and horrifying nature of the crimes being portrayed in the film. Bhakshak is, in fact, inspired by a real case, and the heinous crimes indeed took place in Bihar's Muzaffarpur a few years ago, and the case had rattled the upper echelons.
What is the real story of Bhakshak?
It all first came to the forth back in 2018 when a report published by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) made shocking claims about "physical and sexual violations" in several shelter homes across Bihar, particularly in one called 'Balika Greh', located in Muzaffarpur.
As the report went viral, the Bihar government and police faced immense pressure from the public and that is when an FIR was filed at the Muzaffarpur's women's police station, while the girls were relocated from the shelter home.
The girls who were staying at the Balika Greh shelter home were all aged between 7 and 17, and during the investigation, when medical tests were conducted on them, it came to light that 34 out of 42 of the girls living at the shelter home were sexually abused.
Reports also stated that girls were forcefully made to undergo abortions and that one was even killed and buried in the shelter home premises.
The arrest and conviction of Brajesh Thakur
Post the startling revelations, Brajesh Thakur, who was the chief of the state-funded NGO which ran the Balika Greh shelter home and other similar "safe havens", was found guilty and was named the mastermind of the entire crime, along with 10 other accused.
The 11 accused were tried under the POCSO Act and later, the case was transferred to the CBI. The then district child protection officer was also one of the accused.
In 2020, Thakur was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment under charges of physically and sexually assaulting minor girls. During the trial, the Supreme Court had rapped the Bihar government and authorities for delay in invesigation because of Thakur's political connections and the involvement of other government officials.
In Bhakshak, Aditya Srivastava, as Bansi Sahu, is portraying the character of Brajesh Thakur.