18 DECEMBER 2006, TIMES NEWS NETWORK, PATNA.
Little did slain PU Professor Papiya Ghosh know that her own kitchen knife would one day end her life. On the fateful night, Papiya’s septuagenarian maid Malti had herself handed over the knife to the Professor to take on the intruders.
Fate, apparently, had some portentous design in store. One of the intruders snatched the long blade from Papiya’s hand and brutally stabbed her and her maid for resisting the loot bid, a Police Officer said.
After a marathon interrogation of the four criminals arrested in Papiya murder case, police have ascertained that Shankar Sao, the driver of a schoolteacher, had, in fact, inflicted stab injuries to Papiya and Malti, which caused their death.
“When we intruded into her house on December 2 around 9.30 pm, Papiya started screaming for help. When I asked for money, she not only posed a stiff resistance, but also scuffled with me. In the meantime, the maid appeared with a knife and handed it over to the Professor to take us on,” Shankar told the interrogators. “In fact, we had no option other than pinning her (Papiya) down and finishing her off,” he said.
The Police confirmed that Shankar’s injury in one of his arms, which he received during his scuffle with Papiya, corroborated his statement. Shankar had got his injured arm bandaged in a private nursing home later, they added.
Police sources said that after eliminating Papiya and her maid, Shankar and his accomplices stashed Papiya’s car parked on the rear side of the house with the looted articles and dumped them at their hideout in Kurji. In fact, the criminals had to make two trips to ferry the looted articles, a Police Officer said.
According to the Police, Shankar played the lead role and was assisted by his accomplices Ashish Kumar Rai, Anil Kumar Oraon and Manohar Thakur.
The Police said that apart from the four arrested persons, two more persons had intruded into the house. The police are on the lookout of the duo, who seem to be absconding. Meanwhile, all the looted articles as mentioned in the FIR have been recovered.
Ironically, the Police have not yet identified the criminal, who had made threatening calls to Papiya’s Delhi-based publisher and dared IG (Patna zone) Rajvardhan Sharma to catch him if he could.
“The caller is one among the four arrested persons. But we will have to conduct a voice test to identify him,” the IG told TOI.
Meanwhile, the Police have arrested an Ashiananagar-based advocate, Ramchandra Mahto, under Section 412 of the IPC (possessing articles looted in dacoity). A washing machine looted from Papiya’s house was recovered from Mahto’s house, a police officer said.