A non-bailable warrant has been issued against former Bihar minister Manju Verma, who is absconding since Wednesday. The Supreme Court, yesterday, pulled up the Bihar government and said, "It's very strange. The government doesn't know where its former minister is. Has she gone into hiding?" The government counsel admitted in court that the minister wasn't traceable.
The warrant, against the former minister, was issued for a case under the Arms Act. In August, the police had raided Ms Verma in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes and seized 50 live cartridges from one of her houses.
Despite the Patna High Court rejecting Ms Verma's anticipatory bail plea several times, the state police did not act. The non-bailable warrant was issued only after the Supreme Court hauled up the Bihar government and on three successive days said - why wasn't she arrested, is the former minister above the law, and is something wrong with the Bihar government.
The state police's inaction for weeks threw up questions of whether there were directions from the top to go slow in the case. Senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari slammed the state government and said that the "bluff of the Nitish Kumar government at every stage in the probe has been exposed."
Ms Verma had resigned as the Social Welfare Minister of Bihar in August after her husband, Chandrashekhar Verma, came under fire for allegedly visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home several times. Mr Verma, a close aide of the key accused Brajesh Sharma, surrendered on Monday.
Over 40 young girls were sexually abused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home. The sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to the state's social welfare department in April. The first case was filed on May 31 against 11 people, including Brajesh Thakur.