Bihar’s Manjhaul sub-divisional court on Wednesday issued a non-bailable warrant against former social welfare minister Manju Verma for her alleged role in an Arms Act case, ANI reported. On the same day, the state government told the Supreme Court that the police had failed to trace her.
Verma resigned in August after allegations of her husband’s links with Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. She is being investigated in connection with the recovery of ammunition from her house. The court said there was enough reason to allow the police to arrest her, Hindustan Times reported. “We will now attach her property if she does not surrender,” an unidentified police officer said. The official said they were monitoring her cellphone activity.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court asked the Bihar Police why Verma had not yet been arrested over the recovery of ammunition from a house owned by her husband. Fifty cartridges were found in the house during a search conducted in connection with the shelter home rapes. The Bihar Police filed a First Information Report under the Arms Act against Verma and her husband after the cartridges were found.
Verma’s husband Chandrashekhar Verma allegedly has links with Brajesh Thakur, who used to run the shelter home. The wife of an accused in the rape case has alleged that he was a regular visitor at the shelter. Chandrashekhar Verma surrendered before a court in Begusarai on Monday.
The top court also ordered the transfer of Thakur to a high-security jail in Punjab’s Patiala district. He was in Bihar’s Badarpur jail.
The alleged sexual exploitation of children at the shelter run by Thakur came to light after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in Bihar in April. The audit had been ordered by the state government, which filed a first information report against 11 people, including Thakur, on May 31. A medical report confirmed the sexual assault of 34 inmates at the Muzaffarnagar home.