Muzaffarpur shelter home case: Manju Verma surrenders, sent to 14-day judicial custody; ex-minister was absconding for weeks

Former Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma, who is believed to have links to the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, surrendered before a court in Begusarai district on Tuesday. This comes after weeks of absconding and the Supreme Court criticising the Bihar Police repeatedly for failing to trace her. She has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.

"Fantastic! A cabinet minister is on the run, fantastic. How could a cabinet minister be absconding and nobody knows where she is? You realise the seriousness of the issue that a cabinet minister is not traceable? It's too much," Justice Madan B Lokur had observed in court on 12 November.

Manju Verma's husband Chandrashekhar had surrendered before the same court on 29 October after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found 50 live cartridges from their home in Bihar's Begusarai during a raid conducted in connection with the Muzaffarpur case. The couple was then booked under the Arms Act.

Former Bihar minister Manju Verma. ANI

Former Bihar minister Manju Verma. ANI

On 1 November, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Manju Verma after the Supreme Court pulled up the Bihar government and questioned why she had not been arrested. "Is the former minister above the law, and is something wrong with the Bihar government?" the court had asked.

Her husband is accused of having links with the main accused in the Muzaffarpur case, Brajesh Thakur, who ran the shelter home at which at least 30 girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused. During the investigation into the Muzaffarpur matter, it was found that Chandrashekhar Verma and Thakur had spoken several times between January and June this year. Soon after, Manju resigned as the social welfare minister in the Bihar government.

Thakur was transferred out of Bihar to a jail in Patiala on 30 October, as the Supreme Court believed that his influential stature in the state could affect the fairness of the investigation into the Muzaffarpur case.

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2018 13:29:44 IST

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