16 DECEMBER 2006, PATNA.
“As of now, robbery alone seems to be the motive behind the murder of Patna University Historian Papiya Ghosh,” Director-General of Police A.R. Sinha said.
The four arrested were Shankar Sau, 22, a part-time driver with a Don Bosco school teacher; A.K. Roy, 19, a jobless youth from Chhapra who worked in a rolling mill here before taking to petty thefts; A.K. Urao, 19, a newspaper hawker; and Manohar Kumar Thakur, who recently quit working at a rolling mill. None has a murder charge against him.
Most of the loot, including a Maruti car found in a dilapidated garage, a TV set and a computer, has been recovered from different places in Patna. None of it had been sold.
DGP Sinha said the main gate of the Historian’s house was “ajar” when the gang “sneaked in” around 9 pm. They probably knew her daily routine well to strike at that hour. The main conspirator, who “would have provided information” about Ghosh’s routine, is still at large.
The DGP, who announced a Rs.50,000 reward to the Police team, asked the media to “stop” thinking of “various angles” and trust the Police.
But Ghosh’s friends are not “convinced”. Prof. S.K. Singh, also a resident of Pataliputra Colony, said “the small gang must have been used just as a pawn by powerful people”.
Maya Shankar, a friend, said: “It is difficult to digest that Papiya was killed just for resisting a robbery.”
Saibal Dasgupta, a sociologist, said with property rates as high as they are in Pataliputra Colony, the robbery motive was “just too simplistic.”