An utterly heinous and barbaric crime was perpetrated on Papiya Ghosh on 3rd December 2006 at her home, 168, Patliputra Colony, Patna (India) . She was stabbed to death with multiple wounds and assault by an armed group of half a dozen criminals who robbed her of most of her belongings and also murdered her domestic help, Malti Devi, who was the lone witness. Papiya was single and lived alone in her ancestral property.
The masterminds and the motives behind the gruesome brutality have yet to be unsheathed.
Justice remains a dim and very distant hope.
The Status of Investigation & Trial
The FIR relating to the crime against Papiya was lodged on 3rd December, 2006. Police arrested five persons, who were in possession of the goods stolen from Papiya’s Residence, on 16th December, 2006. Two more persons are yet to be arrested. The Charge-Sheet was filed against the five arrested on 27th January, 2007.
The case – State vs. Ramachandra Mahato and others – bears No. ST 188 of 2007 has been committed for Trial to FTC No. 5, Patna, headed by Justice Om Prakash. Charges were framed against the arrested under Sections 396 and 412 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Trial Court handed down its verdict on 18th September, 2008, holding all the five guilty. On 19th September 2008, Shankar Sau was awarded the death sentence. Manohar Kumar, Ashish Kumar and Anil Oraon were given life imprisonment. Ramachandra Mahto was held guilty u/s 414 IPC and imprisoned for a two year term.
Unfortunately, the death sentence was not confirmed by the Patna High Court and converted to life imprisonment.
However, this has also been appealed by the convicted in the Supreme Court of India in a Criminal Appeal case , Ram Chandra Mahto vs State of Bihar , No 10327/10. No developments in this case are known to Papiya’s family inspite of various attempts to seek information from the Government of Bihar and its Standing Counsel in New Delhi, Gopal Singh.
In 2010 Bihar Police apprehended two more accused from Jharkhand and Punjab and after a gap of 2 years initiated a Trial in FT Court, ST No 1015 of ADJ 3, First Civil Court Patna. There has been no progress in this trial in the LAST DECADE, on some pretext or the other, inter-alia, related to case records not being available, witnesses not showing up, adjournments granted etc.
JUSTICE IS YET TO BE DELIVERED TO PAPIYA.