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Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Rapes: Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma Finally Resigns

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| August 8 , 2018 , 18:28 IST

Bihar Social Welfare minister Manju Verma resigned on Wednesday amidst speculations that her husband had close links with Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. It was alleged that Verma’s husband was a regular visitor of the shelter home.

It is alleged that the minister’s husband, Chandrashekhar Verma was a frequent visitor to the shelter home where 34 of the total 42 inmates were allegedly raped and sexually assaulted.

While addressing the media after the resignation, she said, "I resigned because media and 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 further said, “Call records of accused Brajesh Thakur should be made public, we will then see who all he used to talk to.”

According to media reports, Manju Verma met chief minister Nitish Kumar and handed over her resignation to him.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said, “She (Manju Verma) has denied her involvement in the case. A CBI probe is underway. Anyone found guilty, even the Ministers, will be sent to jail. No one will be spared."

Verma came into controversy when Shiba Kumari, wife of district Child Protection Officer Ravi Raushan who was arrested, said the husband of the Social Welfare Department minister Manju Verma was visiting the shelter home frequently.

Supreme Court’s Strong Criticism & Restriction On Media Coverage

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a blanket ban on publication of images, morphed or blurred, of minor victims of sexual offences by electronic, print and social media. A three-judge bench of Justices Madan Lokur, Deepak Gupta and the newly appointed Justice KM Joseph ruled the order.

Amicus Curiae Aparna Bhat brought to Court’s attention that certain sections of the media, electronic as well as print, had published certain images of minor victims in the Deoria sexual abuse case which came to light on Monday.

ALSO READ: RJD's Tejashwi Yadav Calls For Nationwide Strike Today Over Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Rapes

Advocate Bhat further told the Court that the wife of one of the accused took to Facebook to publish a post listing out names of several of the victims of Muzzafarpur case to make an attempt to defend her accused husband. Justice Lokur observed that woman should be arrested immediately.

The agitated bench said, “What is happening? Girls are getting raped left, right and center. NCRB 2016 data says 38,947 women got raped. MP is leading in the number of rapes, followed by UP. Yesterday there was the Deoria case. What are we doing?“

What is The Case All About?

Reports of repeated sexual abuse of inmates at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur surfaced in the wake of a social audit by Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Education body had carried out a social audit of shelter homes running across the state of Bihar. In its report to the state government, it alleged abuse of inmates.

ALSO READ: Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Rapes: SC Issues Notice To Centre And State Govt, Condems Reportage By Media

Bihar Director General Of Police (DGP) KS Dwivedi, told the media that the medical examination of 34 girls out of the 42 shelter home inmates confirmed that they were sexually exploited.

More than 10 people, including all staff members of the shelter home and some government officials, have so far been arrested in this connection while all the inmates have been shifted to other districts.

Nitish Kumar government ordered an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. A team led by CBI inspector Vibha Kumari has landed in Muzaffarpur to begin a probe.