Middle East

Ex-minister, husband questioned in care home case

Patna: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the infamous care home sex scandal in Bihar on Friday conducted raids at five different premises of former social welfare minister Manju Verma located in various locations across the state. The searches were carried out in Patna, Begusarai and Bhagalpur districts, reports said, adding to the woes of the minister who resigned only last week.

According to reports, a team of CBI officials raided the official residence of the former minister Verma located in Patna early Friday morning and conducted extensive searches for hours. Reports said the CBI team also grilled the former minister and her husband separately in different rooms.

Reports said after searching the premises of the minister in Patna and her relatives in places outside the state capital, the CBI team took her personal secretary with them. The needle of suspicion also moves towards the secretary, said reports.

Verma, who was the lone female minister in the cabinet, is in the eye of a storm after the name of her husband Chandeshwar Verma surfaced in the shelter home sex scandal. A close scrutiny of the call details records (CDR) of the main accused Brajesh Thakur by the investigating agency has revealed ministers husband talked to the former as many as 17 times in the past five months in between January and May this year, according to media reports.

It was also widely reported in the local media that ministers husband had been frequently visiting shelter home for girls in Muzaffarpur, a distance of 80km from Patna. Official reports said as many as 34 girls were allegedly raped at this government-funded shelter home being run by the NGO which Thakur heads.

The main accused Thakur himself has gone on record stating that he had been regularly talking to ministers husband over phone although the discussions centred around only “political issues”.

The CBI teams also conducted raids at various houses of Thakur, his friends and relatives in Muzaffarpur town. During the raids which lasted for hours, the teams were learnt to have recovered several pieces of evidence related to the case.

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