Former Bihar minister Manju Verma, who had been evading arrest in an Arms Act case, surrendered on Tuesday before a local court that sent her to judicial custody till December 1. Verma, who stepped down as the state’s social welfare minister following allegations of close links between her husband and Brajesh Thakur — the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case — was reportedly hiding at the residence of her husband’s relative in Naulakha village, just five km from the Manjhaul Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court where she surrendered. Her husband, Chandra Shekhar Verma, had surrendered before the court on October 29.
Verma, along with her husband, was named in the Arms Act case lodged at the Cheria Bariyarpur police station in August after the CBI, which is probing Verma’s alleged role in the Muzaffarpur case, raided the former minister’s residence around one-and-a-half-month ago and recovered more than 50 live cartridges.
Bihar Additional Director General of Police S K Singhal has claimed that “Verma surrendered because of police pressure”. Last week, Begusarai Police had attached her Cheria Bariarpur residence after the court declared her an absconder.
The JD(U) had recently suspended Verman from the party, even as the Opposition RJD had accused the state government of “shielding” her. On Monday, former chief minister Rabri Devi had sought to know why the state police had failed to track a ruling party MLA.
The Supreme Court, which has been monitoring the Muzaffarpur case, on November 12 had also pulled up the state police for its failure to arrest the former minister. The top court had asked Bihar DGP K S Dwivedi to appear before it on November 27 in the matter. Chandra Shekhar Verma is set to appear before the court on December 1.
Meanwhile, Brajesh Thakur’s close aide, Madhu Kumari, also surrendered before a Muzaffarpur court on
Tuesday in the shelter home sexual abuse case.