Afternoon Voice

I am being made a political scapegoat: Brajesh Thakur

Brajesh Thakur, the key accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal case, denied having any “links” with Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma and claimed that he was being framed due to political considerations.

Talking to media persons outside a special POCSO court, where he was produced along with nine other accused arrested in the case, Thakur alleged that he was being made a “political scapegoat” as he was likely to get a ticket from the Congress in a forthcoming election.

Thakur claimed that he was in touch with central leaders of the Congress.

He, however, did not specify if he meant nomination for next year’s parliamentary election or the state assembly poll in 2020.

Thakur’s claim was immediately dismissed by the Congress as “ridiculous”.

Congress MLC Prem Chand Mishra said Thakur was “not even a primary member of the party”.

High drama was witnessed outside the court premises as dozens of supporters of the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) blackened the face of Thakur while he was being taken inside.

The JAP is headed by Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who has been vociferously raising the Muzaffarpur issue in Parliament.

Asked about reports that he had made 17 telephone calls to Chandeshwar Verma, the husband of Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, between January and June this year, Thakur said, “I used to speak to him occasionally on political issues.”

“I have only formal relations with them (Manju Verma and her husband) just like I have with you people,” Thakur, who also ran three newspapers in Hindi, English and Urdu, said.

Minister Manju Verma is in the eye of the storm ever since the name of her husband cropped up in the case related to the alleged rape of 34 girls at the Muzaffarpur shelter home run by Thakur’s NGO.

Thakur had earlier contested an assembly election as a nominee of Bihar People’s Party led by jailed don and former MP Anand Mohan.

Thakur, whose NGO ran the shelter home, has been in jail for the past two months.