The Janata Dal (Unit) on Thursday suspended former Bihar minister Manju Verma from the party, PTI reported. She has been booked in a case related to the recovery of ammunition from her in-laws’ house during a search conducted in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes.

The Bihar Police on Thursday conducted raids at several locations in the state and in Jharkhand in order to arrest Verma, days after the Supreme Court pulled up the state police. The court expressed shock that the police had been unable to trace the former social welfare minister and summoned Bihar’s director general of police on November 27.

Janata Dal (United) state president Vashishtha Narayan Singh said the party has a zero tolerance policy for crime and corruption and had suspended the absconding leader from its primary membership on November 10. “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 told PTI.

On October 31, a sub-divisional court in Manjhaul had issued a non-bailable warrant against Verma, a two-time MLA from Cheria Bariarpur constituency in Begusarai district.

Verma resigned in August after allegations that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma had links with Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case where 34 minor inmates were allegedly raped. On October 29, Chandrashekhar Verma surrendered in a Begusarai court.

The alleged sexual exploitation of children at the shelter run by Thakur came to light in April after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state. 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 Muzaffarpur home.