Police on Wednesday sealed the house of suspended Janata Dal (United) legislator Manorama Devi, who is said to be on the run after an arrest warrant was issued against her under the new state excise law.
Devi’s son Rakesh Ranjan Yadav, also known as Rocky, and her husband Bindi Yadav are already in jail over the killing of Aditya Sachdeva, a businessman’s son, in a case of road rage on Saturday evening.
“We did not find her (Manorama Devi) there when the police went to seal her house this morning,” Gaya district magistrate Kumar Ravi told HT .
“Now that we have been able to ascertain that the house was in Devi’s name, we have moved to arrest her,” he said.
Domestic help and staff at Devi’s residence claimed that ‘madam’ had not come to the house since Tuesday.
Excise Dept & Bihar Police seal Manorama Devi's house in Gaya.Arrest warrant issued agnst her ovr liquor prohibition pic.twitter.com/CXIXpBKHJv— ANI (@ANI_news) May 11, 2016
The arrest warrant was issued after bottles of liquor were found during a police raid to nab Rocky at Devi’s posh Anugrah Puri residence late on Tuesday evening. Possession of liquor is a cognizable offence under the excise act after Bihar government imposed a total prohibition on April 5. The offence attracts 5-10 years jail term and penalty up to Rs 10 lakh.
Police arrested Bindi Yadav and the MLC’s bodyguard Rajesh Kumar, who were with Rocky when he allegedly shot dead Sachdeva for overtaking his Land Rover, on Sunday. Bindi Yadav allegedly helped Rocky to escape.
Rocky was arrested from Bodh Gaya early on Tuesday and remanded to 14 days judicial custody.
6 bottles of liquor was recovered y'day. Accordingly action is being taken: Vikas Singh,Asst. Commission,Excise Dept pic.twitter.com/xgEFLh5t8W— ANI (@ANI_news) May 11, 2016
Devi, a legislative council member of the ruling JD (U), was suspended from the party on Tuesday. Party’s state president Vashishtha Narain Singh said a show-cause notice has been served to her and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said ‘rule of law’ would always remain the USP of the JD(U).
Officials said as soon as the arrest warrant was issued against Devi, she fled her home late on Tuesday night and a search operation was launched to find her.
KK Pathak, principal secretary of the state excise and prohibition department, told HT the MLC would be arrested soon.
“Recovery of bottles from her residence is proof enough for legal action as per the new excise law,” he said.
“I have asked for the inclusion of MLC’s name in the old FIR or lodging of a fresh one. When liquor has been recovered from her residence, how can she remain out of it,” he added.
No case was initially instituted against Devi, which was raised by leader of opposition in the legislative council Sushil Kumar Modi during a press conference.
In a recent case, two FIRs were lodged against Narkatiaganj Congress MLA Vinay Verma after a sting operation showed him offering alcohol to his guests, though liquor bottles could not be recovered from his residence during raids.
The Bihar government imposed a complete ban on sale and consumption of liquor on April 5. Nearly 8,000 people have been arrested in the pre-prohibition swoop and the first 35 days of total prohibition in the state.