Brajesh Thakur, an accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, on Wednesday denied he had links with Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, and claimed that he was being framed in the case, PTI reported. Thakur was produced in a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences court in Muzaffarpur along with nine others.

Thakur alleged that he was being targeted as was thinking about joining the Congress. “I was thinking of joining Congress and it was almost final that I contest elections from Muzaffarpur,” ANI quoted him as saying. “This is also happening due to that. None of the girls have taken my name, you can check that for yourself.”

As the police escorted him to the court, a woman threw ink at him, ANI reported.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said Verma has denied her husband’s involvement in the case. “If someone related to the minister is involved, they will not be spared,” Kumar added. The chief minister was responding to calls for Verma’s resignation – from the Opposition and a state Bharatiya Janata Party leader – after the wife of an accused claimed that the minister’s husband used to visit the shelter home.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court asked the Bihar government why there was no inspection of the shelter home in Muzaffarpur where at least 34 girls were allegedly raped over the last four years.

The sexual exploitation of children in the Muzaffarpur shelter came to light after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state in April. The audit had been ordered by the state government, which filed a first information report in connection with the Muzaffarpur case on May 31.

The police initially said 16 girls had been sexually assaulted. Later, the figure was revised to 34 on the basis of a medical report released by the Patna Medical College and Hospital. Ten of the 11 accused have been arrested so far. On Sunday, the Bihar government suspended six officials of a state child protection unit for negligence.