19 Sep 2008, The Newswire, Outlook India Magazine
Patna, September 19 (PTI) A trial court has handed down the death sentence to Shankar Sao, one of the four held guilty for the murder of Patna professor Papiya Ghosh and her servant in 2006. Three others, Manohar Kumar, Ashish Kumar and Anil Oraon, have been given a life term in jail. Advocate Ramchandra Mahto has been given 2 years in jail for assisting in concealment of stolen property.
On Thursday, the trial court had convicted five of the seven accused in the murder case.
The cold-blooded killings in December 2006 spawned nationwide hue and cry with intellectuals from across the country and abroad alleging involvement of land sharks in the crime. Daughter of late IAS officer Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh, Papiya was single and was living in her father’s sprawling house in the posh Patliputra Colony. While two of her sisters are settled abroad, the third, an IAS officer, is OSD to the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The prosecution could present it as a case of murder during dacoity. While four accused – Shankar Sao, Manohar Kumar, Ashish Kumar and Anil Oraon – were held guilty under Sections 396 (dacoity with murder) and 412 (recovery of dacoity goods from someone’s possession), the fifth accused, lawyer Ramchandra Mahto was held guilty under Section 414 (assisting in concealment of stolen property) of the IPC.
The judgment was delivered by additional session judge of the fast track court, Om Prakash. The two other accused in the case – Sanyog Rai and Mohammed Mushtaquim – have been declared absconders.
According to the prosecution, the Patna University’s history professor and her domestic help Malti were stabbed to death on the night of December 2, 2006 when they resisted some of the accused who had barged into her residence with an intention to commit dacoity. The criminals later decamped with valuables and a Maruti car.