PATNA: Patna police on Tuesday finally arrested Sanyog Rai, the last accused in Prof Papiya Ghosh murder case on the run, from Ludhiana district in Punjab.
Patna SSP Amrit Raj said Prof Ghosh and her domestic help Malti Devi were murdered on the night of December 3, 2006, during a dacoity at her residence in Patliputra Colony. The SSP said, “Earlier, police had arrested six other accused and the last accused, Rai was absconding. He had changed his name to Sunny and was staying at a hideout in Ludhiana.”
The assailants had stabbed to death the 53-year-old Patna University history teacher and her 70-year-old maid Malti Devi for resisting their robbery attempt, and decamped with her valuable items.
Sanyog Rai has since been brought here. He was presented before a local court on Friday, which remanded him to 14-day judicial custody and forwarded to Beur central jail.
This success for Patna police came almost a month after the sixth accused, Mohd Mustakim, was arrested on August 16 from Seraikela district in Jharkhand.
Trial of five accused in the case was completed sometime back and they were given varying sentences. One of the five accused, advocate Ramchandra Mahto has been pronounced guilty under Section 414 (assisting in concealment of stolen property) of the IPC. A washing machine looted from Papiya’s house was recovered from Mahto’s house. The other four – Anil Oraon (a daily wage worker), Manohar Kumar Thakur (a former rolling mill worker), Shanker Sah (a part-time driver with a local schoolteacher) and Ashish Kumar Rai (a jobless youth from Chhapra) – were pronounced guilty for robbery with murder.
The police had produced 30 witnesses in the court of fast-track judge Omprakash. Shankar Sah, the driver of a schoolteacher, according to police, was the main conspirator who got together others for the crime. In fact, it was he who had inflicted fatal stab injuries on Papiya and Malti. The SSP said Sah had confessed having killed Papiya and Malti Devi. “In fact, the maid had handed over a kitchen knife to the professor to take on us. Then we killed her,” Shankar had told the interrogators.
The murder had sent shock waves across the state. After initial delay in cracking the case, the police had recovered most of the looted articles, including a Maruti car which was recovered from a dilapidated garage, a TV set and a computer from different places in Patna.