12 DECEMBER 2006, TIMES NEWS NETWORK, PATNA
BA full one week has elapsed since the killing of Patna University’s Prof Papiya Ghosh but the City Police are yet to report any breakthrough. A worried PM, Manmohan Singh, however, called up Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Monday to inquire about the “shocking” crime.
Noted historian Prof Ghosh was stabbed to death along with her elderly maid in her house in the posh Pataliputra Colony here on Sunday night. State’s opposition parties as well as academicians and scholars from different parts of the country and abroad have launched a campaign of sorts, demanding arrest of the killers.
A Memorandum signed by University Teachers and Research Fellows of Delhi University, JNU, Nehru Museum Memorial Library, IGNOU, School of Oriental and African Studies, London and some other UK and US Universities was also submitted to the PM recently.
The call to Bihar CM from the Prime Minister’s Office came on Monday noon. Sources said the PM wanted to know about the progress in the investigation into the “shocking” murder of Prof Ghosh. “It is shocking for us too,” Nitish responded and told him about the various angles — property, family feud and old enmity — from which the case is being probed. “If needed, we will certainly seek Central assistance,” Nitish told the PM.
During the conversation which lasted for about three minutes, the PM also talked about the mysterious death of Papiya’s father. “Yes, he died about 50 years back due to suspected poisoning. He was a civil servant and had served as the State Home Secretary,” Nitish informed the PM. Nitish further told him that he had also spoken to Somnath Chatterjee. Papiya’s younger sister Tuktuk Ghosh is Principal Secretary to Lok Sabha Speaker.
Meanwhile, the Opposition members carrying placards trooped into the well of the State Legislative Assembly to press their Adjournment Motion. Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary adjourned the House for an hour. The House re-assembled at 12 noon only to be re-adjourned for the day as the din continued. Later, the Opposition parties decided to boycott the proceedings of the Assembly until their Adjournment Motion is accepted.
The Chief Minister, who preferred to sit in his chamber when the House proceedings were on, said the Government was prepared for a debate on the issue but the Opposition was not interested in that. Reacting to the demand for handing over the case to CBI, he said it will suit the Government as well. “But I don’t think the Patna Police are incapable to solve the case,” he said.
“It is a peculiar killing but we have put four-five very competent officials on the job,” Nitish said adding he took an update on the case from the DGP and Home Commissioner on Monday too. “The Police investigation is not to satisfy the Opposition but to detect the nature of crime, catch the criminals and prosecute them,” Nitish said.