Family, Friends & People

and More ..

I remember so very fondly and with admiration her graciousness & her sense of truth.

Suresh Sharma,
G 423 Greater Kailash II,
New Delhi-110048.

May God rest her soul. She was in every way a true “rasika” of life.

Partha Chatterjee,
264, Sidhartha Enclave, New Delhi-110014.

She touched us in ways that will stay in our memories forever. Words cannot describe how much we will miss her.

Pramath (Samir) & Gauri Sinha,
N-107, Panchisila Park, New Delhi-110017

There are very few words to express what I feel. I won’t try.

Urvashi Butalia,
B-26, Gulmohar Park, New Delhi-110049.

Papiya-you were the first to send us e-mail message wishing us for the New Year in 2006. If there is an afterworld, we are sure you are entertaining its inmates. Let us try and follow your example in making this world a better place.

Ishita Banerjee & Savrabh Dube,
D-504, Purvasha, Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi-110019

Papiya, after all our meditative musings I feel convinced you came with the ‘karma’ of a Saint-to suffer as you did and deliver this gem of a research as we saw today-(1.1.07). You are set free at last-to eternal peace

Byzies & hugs.
Reba Som,
432, Sector 15 A, Noida -201301.

Our society has really lost a treasure. We should be careful, for future.

Anita Bembey,
UB-62, Antriksh Bhavan,
22, K.G. Marg, New Delhi-110001.

Papiya lives on!

Meena & V. Subramanian, Delhi.

Papiya and I share days in Hindu College. Wonderful memories of a wonderful person. Today, I feel that justice must be done.

Suroopa Mukherjee,
P/62, Sector XI, Noida-201301.

Remembering the Teen Murti Days. I can still remember that farewell. Who could imagine this farewell?

Uma Chakrawarti, Delhi.

I wish to express my deepest condolence on behalf of my whole Family for Papiya’s family-my mother, my sisters, Reshma & Mini & my brother Samir. We were together at Patna and will always remain with the Family. I express my deep sense of sadness on the occasion.

Manjari Jaruhar,
B-9, 6457, Vasant Kunj,
New Delhi-110070.

Thank You Ma’am for having taught us. We hope we are able to live up to your expectations from us. You will always be there with us!

Mrs. Anita Sinha, Mrs. Radhika Rikhi & Ms. Tanuja Srivastava, Delhi.

Papiya be happy wherever you are. May God bless you!

Kamala Sinha, Rita Sinha & Oscar D’Mello,
X172 Regency Park-II,
DLF Sector-IV, Gurgoan.

I will remember Papiya as a senior when I was in college and as a great debater from whom I learnt so much in Debating and in General Knowledge and History.

Dilip Sinha, Joint Secretary,
Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, Delhi.

Will always remember and salute your spirit, Papiya!

Chandra Shekhar,
490, Asiad Village, New Delhi-49.

Dear Polly

All love possible, wherever you are. You taught me to love, to hug, to live life!

Sucheta Mahajan of Summer Hill, Shimla, Delhi.

It’s a while, Papiya, since we met-but I shall always remember all our meetings-laced with laughter, full of jokes, and your constant zest for life!

G. Arunima,
E-4, Press Enclave, Saket, New Delhi.

Papiya, you’ll remain in our hearts forever. We love you!

Deepa Sharma, Delhi.

Wherever you are, be at peace. Remembering you will always to a happy thing. Your sparkling laughter and sense of humour will stay with me deep inside-for long!

Atanu Roy, Delhi.

Papiya was a year senior to me in the Patna University. A fine person, intellectual scholar in the finest tradition. She was not meant to go like this. An “Ajatshatru”. My deep condolences.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, M.P,
Former Union Minister, Govt. of India, Delhi.

Gruesome murder of Dr. Ghosh and her housemate by some miscreants again reflects a black chapter in the history of Bihar.

I pray to the God for peace to their souls.

Bihar Government should catch those who have done this heinous act as soon as possible and give proper punishment.

Bibhuti Bikramaditya, Daejeon,
South Korea – Dec. 4, 2006

Papiya was a warm, considerate and dear friend. She had an infectious humour and a never say die spirit. She refused to be cowed down by adversity in life. Her cruel death has left a void in my life, which will never get filled.

Jayant Dasgupta, Delhi.

Long live Prof. Papiya Ghosh.

S. Prassanna Kumar,
B-44, Pandara Road, New Delhi-110003
Books Publications & Papers Uncategorized


  1. Partition and the South Asian Diaspora – Extending the Subcontinent, Routledge, New Delhi, 2007.
    • (Review in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. No. 42 dated November 17, 2007 by Vanita Sharma.( )
  2. Community and Nation : Essays on Identity and Politics in Eastern India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2008.
  3. The Civil Disobedience Movement in Bihar, Manak, New Delhi. 2008.
  4. History in the Vernacular, Edited by Raziuddin Aquil and Partha Chatterjee- In Memory of Papiya Ghosh- Permanent Black, Ranikhet, 2008.
  5. Muhajirs and the Nation- Bihar in the 1940s, Routledge, New Delhi, 2010.
  6. Bihar Mein Savinay Avagya Andolan ( Hindi Translation of Sl 3 above by P L Prajapati), Manak, New Delhi , 2011.
  7. Resurrection of the State- A Saga of Bihar- Essays in Memory of Papiya Ghosh, Edited by Sunita Lall and Shaibal Gupta, Manak Publications, New Delhi, 2013.
  • ALL PAPIYA’S BOOKS WERE POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATIONS, with support from friends and colleagues, coordinated by her sister, Dr. Tuktuk Ghosh
  • Books at Sl. 2 & 3 – Above were launched by the then Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha, Shri Somnath Chatterjee, with an Address on “Role of Democratic Institutions in Ensuring Security and Justice for Women”, on 8 March 2008, to coincide with International Women’s Day at India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Book at Sl.7 was launched by Nobel laureate, Professor Amartya Sen, at ADRI, Patna on 4th February, 2013
Media Coverage

Death to one, life term for 3 in Prof Papiya Ghosh murder case

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.

Media Coverage

Papiya murder accused arrested in Ludhiana

Sayantanee Choudhury / TNN | Sep 22, 2012,

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.

Media Coverage

Absconder in Papiya murder case booked

22 September 2012, The Hindustan Times, Patna

After six years of the sensational murder of noted academician prof Papiya Ghosh and her maid Malti Devi, the Patna police team led by city SP has finally arrested Sanjog Rai, the seventh and last accused in the double murder case, from Ludhiana in Punjab.

On Friday, the police brought Rai to Patna and produced him before the court of the chief judicial magistrate.

Patna SSP Amrit Raj said, a police team picked up the accused from Janata Nagar locality under Simlapuri police station in Jalandhar, following a tip off. “Rai had changed his name to Sunny and was working in a small factory of nuts and bolts in Ludhiana for the last few years to escape the police dragnet,” said the SSP, during a media briefing.

Ghosh, a professor in Patna University and elder sister of IAS officer, Tuktuk Ghosh, was killed along with her maid in a brutal manner in the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 2006, sparking off wide condemnation from all quarters, especially academicians. It had raised a question mark on the safety of residents of the posh Patliputra Colony.

The arrest of the last accused is, indeed, a major breakthrough for the Patna police but it has taken six long years to book those involved in the heinous crime.

Even recently, a group of leading academicians had written to the DGP to arrest the remaining accused in the crime, following which, a special team led by zonal IG, R S Bhatti was formed to speed up the case.

In mid-August, police managed to arrest Mustakim Mian, one of the absconding accused in the case, from Seraikella (in West Singhbhum district, Jharkhand) where he was living under the fake name of Shamim and eking out a living as a roadside bicycle repairman. Police said, Mian was one of those who had stabbed Ghosh during the burglary leading to the death of the professor.

Incidentally, Rai, a resident of Digha locality, has also admitted his involvement in the crime and revealed, that he had fled to Punjab after the twin murders. He had broken contacts with his relatives and friends, the SSP claimed. “The accused has claimed, that he was approached by another accused, Shankar Sah, who had asked him to drive a Maruti car to the house of the deceased academician in Patliputra Colony on the fateful night of December 2, 2006,” said the SSP.

The Maruti car, as per the version of the accused, was used to ferry the stolen goods from the house of Papiya Ghosh and unloaded at Digha locality, where it was shared among all the seven accused in the crime.

Petitions For Justice Over The Years - A Brief Scan

Petition to Hon’ble Prime Minister by Dr Tuktuk Ghosh, Papiya’s sister.


The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India,
Govt. of India
New Delhi

11 December, 2006

Respected Sir,

Prof. Papiya Ghosh of Patna University, my sister, lost her life in the most barbaric and gruesome circumstances on 3rd December, 2006, in Patna. The perpetrators slaughtered her in the darkness of the night. She was single and therefore vulnerable. Her aged, invalid maid, Malti Devi, was not spared either by the criminals. We in the family, friends and well wishers are totally devastated by this heinous and dastardly crime against a defenceless woman.
It is strikingly uncanny that my father, Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, a senior IAS Officer of the Bihar Govt. had met a similar tragic end at Patna on 3rd December, 1957.

Prof. Ghosh was an erudite scholar and a dedicated teacher, who devoted herself wholeheartedly to the cause of higher education and original research on Bihar. She cherished academic excellence and consistently upheld the principles of intellectual honesty and integrity. At the time of her ghastly death, she was working on crucially important subjects related,
inter-alia, to syncretic, popular culture, Partition, Indian Diaspora, Bihari Muslims and the history of traditionally deprived sections of society. The very strong condemnation and genuine outpouring of shock, outrage and grief from all over the world for Prof. Ghosh is a resounding acknowledgement of her abiding contributions in the academic field and an affirmation that she had touched and transformed countless lives.

We cannot grieve enough for Papiya or bring her back to life. The last few hours of her life which were violated and desecrated with sheer viciousness, perversity and unimaginable cruelty, will always haunt us.

In the circumstances, I earnestly appeal to you to use your good offices to ensure that justice is neither delayed or denied and that Prof. Ghosh’s supreme sacrifice does not go in vain. Inaction or insensitivity, I may most humbly add, will send out a very negative message and embolden criminals to carry out similar ruthless crimes with impunity against innocent, law-abiding citizens, especially women.

A response from you in this regard will be greatly appreciated so that I may share it with family, friends and well wishers who are seriously concerned that this case does not end up becoming part of the statistics of “Unsolved or Unsolvable” crimes.

Thanking You ,

(Dr. T. Kumar)
Petitions For Justice Over The Years - A Brief Scan

Petition to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India by Keya Sen, Papiya’s sister.


Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
South Block,
New Delhi – 110001.

3 April, 2008

Respected Sir,

Subject: Appeal for justice in the murder of Prof.Papiya Ghosh of Patna University and Malti Devi.

On the night of 2 December, 2006 my younger sister, Professor Papiya Ghosh, was murdered with indescribable brutality inside her own house in Patliputra Colony, Patna. Neither was her aged, invalid maid, Malti Devi spared. Prof. Ghosh’s house was also looted of all items of value, big and small, with the criminals even managing to drive away in the victim’s own car.

As per the police statement, quoted in the press, six armed dacoits had entered Prof. Ghosh’s house and executed the heinous crimes with impunity.

The killing of Prof. Ghosh was carried out with a degree of savage brutality unparalleled in the crime history of Bihar. The worst type of atrocities against women and fatal violation of human rights were perpetrated.

Prof. Papiya Ghosh was a scrupulously honest citizen who lived on her own, and had dedicated her life to the cause of higher education in Bihar. I would request you to kindly visit the website for more details about her works and life.

As a law abiding citizen, Prof. Ghosh depended on the state to provide the necessary security of life and property to all its citizens. But things turned out to be otherwise. Incidentally the victim’s house was a mere stone’s throw from the Pataliputra police thana.
Subsequent to the horrific killings, four of the murderous gang have been rounded up, and put on trial. But the case, although committed to a Fast Track court, is moving at snail’s pace.

But shockingly two of the culprits in the reprehensible crimes, named by the police, as quoted in the press, as Mustakeen and Sanjogi Rai, still remain out of the reach of the police even more than a year later, in spite of numerous representations having been made to the Chief Minister of Bihar, for their speedy arrest.

Neither have petitions to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, and the Chairperson, National Commission for Women, as well as other human rights organizations to get justice, met with any response.

Even applications for information regarding the absconding criminals, made under the Right To Information Act, have not been answered.

On behalf of the grieving family, I request you to prevail on the Government of Bihar to conduct a full and thorough investigation into these reprehensible crimes and to speedily arrest and put on trial the two absconding criminals.

The pronouncements made by our Government about the importance of protecting women’s rights and providing redress when they have been violated, need to be followed up with necessary action when such violations have unfortunately taken place. Otherwise they will remain as nothing more than pious intentions and we womenfolk will have to continue to endure these worst kinds of abuses of human rights in our society.

We await your kind intervention in the matter.

Yours Faithfully,
(Mrs. Keya Sen)
214, WTC Hilton Residency,
1191, Corniche El Nile,
Cairo, EGYPT
Petitions For Justice Over The Years - A Brief Scan

To Dr. Manmohan Singh the Honourable Prime Minister of India by Academic Colleagues

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

We are writing to express our outrage at the brutal and heinous murders of Dr. Papiya Ghosh, Professor of History at Patna University, and her domestic help Ms. Malti Devi, on the night of December 2nd in Patna in her home.

As of the time of this writing, it is clear from the news services and Dr. Ghosh’s own accounts to her friends (some of whom are among the undersigned) that this is not a routine robbery case-gone-wrong as the local police are alleging, but in fact involves collusion of local criminal and political elements who have over the past few years been threatening Dr. Ghosh to relinquish her ancestral property to their control.

With this letter that bears the signature of many of Dr. Ghosh’s academic and professional colleagues and friends from around the world, we demand that the Government of India take immediate action to bring all the criminal elements in this matter to justice. It is critical that the Central Government take charge in this investigation at the highest levels given the evident collusion between local political and criminal elements that has precipitated these horrible murders.

We will not rest in continuing to bring national and international pressure to bear on this outrage until the interests of justice are served in this case.

We, the undersigned, hereby add our names to this petition:

Petitions For Justice Over The Years - A Brief Scan

Petition to the Prime Minister of India by Academic Colleagues, Seeking Justice


Dr. Manmohan Singh
The Honorable Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110011

December 8th, 2006

Honorable Prime Minister,

Please find attached a petition that was circulated a few days go. It bears more than 120 attestations demanding justice in the brutal murders of Professor Papiya Ghosh and Ms. Malti Devi in Patna on the night of December 2nd 2006.

The signatories to the petition are faculty members teaching in various universities across India and the world, and colleagues and friends of the late Dr. Papiya Ghosh.

As the enclosed petition makes clear, we urgently request that the Government of India brings its full powers to bear in the investigation of these murders so that the guilty are brought to justice.

We thank you in advance for your consideration of our efforts in this matter.

Sumathi Ramaswamy
Professor of History