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Manju Verma, the former Bihar Minister who was on the run and against whom multiple arrest warrants were issued surrendered before a Begusarai court on Tuesday.  Her husband is allegedly linked to the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case and she had been booked under the Arms Act after the CBI seized weapons and ammunition from one of her residences.

Verma came under the radar of probing officials in July this year — shortly after her husband Chandrasekhar Verma’s links emerged with Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case.

It was only last Friday that Verma was proclaimed an “absconder” by a court which also ordered for attaching her properties. The Supreme Court had earlier this month lashed out at the state government for its failure to find the whereabouts of someone who was a minister in the Nitish Kumar government. The ruling JD(U) later suspended her primary membership from the party, while assuring that the police would arrest her at the earliest.

Last week, her lawyer had moved court against a police petition to declare her a “proclaimed offender” in an Arms Act case. Earlier, a sub-divisional court issued a non-bailable warrant against her on October 31, a day after the Supreme Court asked the police why Verma had not been arrested after the recovery of ammunition from her in-laws’ house. The “proclaimed offender” tag allows the police to paste a legal notice on the walls of the accused’s house asking her to surrender before the court within a specified frame of time. If the accused fails to do so, the property can be confiscated and auctioned.

Verma resigned in August as social welfare minister after allegations that her husband had links with Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case. Fifty cartridges were found in her in-laws’ house during a search conducted in connection with the rape case. The Bihar Police filed a First Information Report under the Arms Act against Verma and her husband after the cartridges were found in August.

—India Legal Bureau

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