India

Muzaffarpur shelter home rape horror: Bihar minister Manju Verma resigns

Manju Verma met Nitish Kumar at his 7 Circular Road office in Patna and handed over her resignation letter.

Patna: Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma resigned on Wednesday over allegations against her husband Chandeshwar, who is accused of links to the Muzaffarpur shelter rape horror.

The police say call records confirm that minister Manju Verma’s husband was regularly in touch with the man who ran the shelter home in Muzaffarpur in which over 30 girls were raped and tortured. Seventeen calls were exchanged between them this year, say sources. The call records also establish that between October and May, the minister’s husband, Chandeshwar Verma, visited the shelter home nine times, each time for several hours.

Manju Verma met Nitish Kumar at his 7 Circular Road office in Patna and handed over her resignation letter. Her resignation letter was immediately forwarded to governor Satya Pal Malik. As Malik is in Delhi, it would be sent to him through fax for acceptance.

“I resigned because the media and the opposition had created a furore , but I have full faith in CBI and judiciary. I am sure truth will be out and my husband will come out clean,” she told reporters.

Confronted with evidence, the minister had admitted that her husband was in touch with Brajesh Thakur, whose NGO ran the shelter home where girls were raped, beaten, assaulted and exploited over four years.

Minister has accepted her husband used to speak to Thakur but said they didn’t realise he was a criminal. Verma said her husband is innocent. “This is a well thought out conspiracy. My husband is being targeted.”

The role of the minister’s husband came under scrutiny when the wife of an arrested child protection officer demanded an investigation against him.

The minister’s resignation came barely a couple of hours after the main accused, Brajesh Thakur told reporters outside a special POCSO court in Muzaffarpur that though he had no special connections with the minister’s husband, he used to speak to him over political and other issues.

Shibha Kumari, wife of Muzaffarpur Child Protection Officer Ravi Roshan, alleged that the minister’s husband used to visit the shelter home frequently.

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