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Bihar minister quits after husband is linked to Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal

  Bihar social welfare minister Kumari Manju Verma resigned on Wednesday amid allegations that her husband had links with the main suspect in a scandal linked to the sexual abuse of inmates of a government-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur.

Verma’s resignation letter was immediately faxed to governor Satya Pal Malik, who is in Delhi, for acceptance, officials aware of the development said on condition of anonymity.

The resignation came hours after Brajesh Thakur, the main suspect in the scandal, told reporters outside a Muzaffarpur court that he had “no special connections” with the minister’s husband, Chandeshwar, but used to speak to him “over political and other issues.”

Verma had been under pressure to step down after her ministry was accused of inaction in the case. Former Muzaffarpur child protection officer Ravi Kumar Roshan’s wife, Shibha Kumari Singh, had last week claimed Verma’s husband was a regular visitor to the shelter home. She alleged that her “innocent” husband had been made a scapegoat and arrested. The minister and her husband had denied the allegations as baseless.

Opposition parties had demanded Verma’s removal even as chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Sushil Kumar Modi, defended the Janata Dal (United) legislator from Cheria-Bariarpur.
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