JD(U) suspends absconding ex-minister Manju Verma

Patna, Nov 15: The JD(U) said Thursday it has suspended former Bihar minister Manju Verma, facing arrest under the arms act following recovery of ammunition from her home during a CBI raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal.

JD(U) state president Vashishtha Narayan Singh said the party suspended the absconding leader from its primary membership on November 10 in keeping with the policy of zero tolerance for crime and corruption.

"We have always taken a tough stance whenever any member of our party is found to be involved in any criminal or corruption case. Nothing new in that," he said.

Singh was replying to queries about Verma, a two-time MLA from Cheria Bariarpur constituency in Begusarai district, evading arrest despite an arrest warrant and warnings issued by the Supreme Court to surrender.

Verma had stepped down as social welfare minister in August after media reports indicated close links between her husband Chandrashekhar Verma and prime accused in the sex scandal case Brajesh Thakur.

A few days later, the CBI raided her Patna residence besides her in-laws home at Cheria Bariarpur from where a cache of ammunition was seized. A case was then registered against her.

She moved an application for anticipatory bail before a Begusarai court which was turned down and a similar plea was rejected by the Patna High Court.

Her husband surrendered before a Begusarai court on October 29.

The Supreme Court earlier this week rapped the Bihar police for failing to arrest the former minister and directed the DGP to appear before it in-person on November 27 if she was not nabbed by then.

Police are conducting raids in Bihar and Jharkhand for her arrest.

Over 30 girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at a Muzaffarpur shelter home and the issue was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the TISS to the social welfare department of Bihar government.

An FIR was filed on May 31 against 11 people, including Thakur, who was running the shelter home.

The probe was later taken over by CBI and so far, 17 people have been arrested in connection with that case.

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