Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's rotting, what is being brushed under the carpet?

Note: Why are two MLAs of Bihar Vidhan Sabha dead in less than one year? Its high time the MLAs introspected to set matters right. There is an unacknowledged festering sore that merits attention. Who will point out the root cause and the remedy before the next tragedy strikes?  Gopal Krishna

 Raped principal stabs Bihar MLA to death
Jan. 4: An MLA of Bihar’s ruling BJP was on Tuesday stabbed to death in public by a lady school principal who had levelled charges of rape against him last year. The incident shocked the state, prompting the Chief Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, to suggest frisking of people visiting MLAs henceforth.

Raj Kishore Kesri, 51, an MLA from Purnea in eastern Bihar, was fatally attacked with a butcher’s knife by Rupam Pathak, 37, principal of Rajhans Public School, when he was meeting people at his house at Sipahitola area in Purnea town at about 9 am. Pathak hid the knife, said to be over 15 inches long, under her shawl and shoved it into the MLA’s left abdomen while speaking to him in a crowd of about 150 people. A profusely bleeding Kesri was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead at 10.10 am due to deep abdominal injuries.

The MLA’s bodyguards instantly grabbed Pathak and beat her up, drawing blood from the face and the knee, before handing her over to the police. She was rushed to Katihar Medical College. Initially, she refused to believe the MLA was dead. Pathak, who has been living separately in Purnea from her Assam-based businessman husband and children for over 10 years, had alleged in April 2010 that Kesri and his assistant Vipin Rai had raped her. Sources said the slain BJP legislator and the woman knew each other well.

“The MLA had inaugurated her school and was chief guest at its annual function. He had also got a road leading to the school built,” said BJP sources.
Jan 05, 2011, The Asian Age

Opposition for judicial probe into Bihar legislator's killing
Bihar's opposition parties, including the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), have demanded a judicial inquiry into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Raj Kishore Kesri by a woman teacher who had accused him of rape.

"Congress has demanded a judicial probe by a high court judge because we have no faith in the state  government's order of a probe by the police," Congress spokesperson Prem Chand Mishra said. "The state government should order a judicial probe if it is committed to justice for the woman," CPI(ML) leader Meena Tiwari said. Tiwari said that CPI(ML) also demanded adequate security for Rupam Pathak, the school teacher who knifed Kesri. She is undergoing treatment at Katihar Medical College and Hospital under judicial custody.

"Her life may be in danger and some people may want to suppress the truth and facts in the case," she said.
The CPI(ML) also staged a march to protest Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's clean chit to Kesri and his remarkes about Pathak being a blackmailer. "It is a shameful act on part of Sushil Kumar Modi, who is leading light of BJP in Bihar, to call a woman a blackmailer for accusing his party legislator of raping her," Meena Tiwari said.

The BJP is a junior partner in Bihar's ruling coalition led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United.
LJP leader Pasupati Kumar Paras said the Bihar government should order a judicial probe into the incident.
Sudha Verghese, a noted social activist, who also runs the NGO Nari Gunjan, said the authorities were jumping to conclusions before the probe was complete. "I was anguished at the statements of Modi and other BJP leaders who had already  pronounced their judgement and by the haste of the police to bring her (Pathak) to book at any cost and in the shortest period of time," she said.

Rupam Pathak, around 40 years old, went to Kesri's home in Purnia town, some 350 km from Patna, and stabbed him to death in presence of a number of people. Kesri, a BJP legislator from Purnia assembly constituency, was 51. A police officer told IANS over phone from Purnia that the school teacher had last year accused Kesri of raping her for over three years and lodged a criminal case against him.

"But later, she had withdrawn the rape charge. It is a matter of investigation as to what prompted her to do so," he said. A local political activist told IANS that Pathak had withdrawn the case before the October-November Bihar assembly polls after she was promised a large amount of money by Kesri, who was contesting from the Purnia seat. "But after Kesri won the seat, Rupam was not given the money," he said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed the state's Director General of Police to thoroughly review the security of all legislators.

Bihar BJP MLA Keshri stabbed to death by woman in Purnea
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the MLA from the Purnea Assembly constituency Raj Kishore Keshri was stabbed to death at his residence in Purnea today by a woman who had earlier accused him of sexual harassment.
State Additional Director General of Police P K Thakur told journalists that the woman, Rupam Pathak attacked the MLA with a knife and stabbed him. He died instantaneously from injuries he suffered in his spleen, the official said.
According to him, the woman had apparently hidden the knife with a shawl she was wearing. She came to the Sipahi Tola house of the four-time MLA when he was meeting visitors, and asked to see him alone. The attack took place when she was talking to him at a little distance away from the others on the premises, Mr Thakur said.
The woman, who was later manhandled by supporters of the MLA, had been arrested.
"She is being interrogated. It was revealed that the MLA had allegedly outraged her modesty a year ago and the woman acted in vengeance," a UNI report quoted Bihar Director General of Police Neelmani as saying.
The woman had lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against Mr Keshri about six months ago.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed Mr Neelmani to review the security arrangements for MLAs.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the funeral of the MLA would take place tomorrow after the arrival of his son and other family members from Delhi.

JD (U) MLA kills wife, son, then self
Ruling JD (U) MLA Abhay Singh shot dead his wife and infant daughter before allegedly committing suicide by turning the gun on himself at the official residence of his father and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Narendra Singh in Patna.
Narendra Singh, who was sleeping in another room, was found lying unconscious and has been admitted to the ICCU of Patna Medical College and Hospital.

Gunshots were heard at Singh's residence near Governor's House and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's official residence at 2:00 am sending local people rushing, police said.
The 34-year-old Singh, who was elected from Jamui, shot his 6-month-old daughter and wife dead before shooting himself during a quarrel, they said.

Abhay Singh's 3-year-old elder daughter was with her grandmother in another room at the time of the incident. Terming the incident as very sad, the Chief Minister said, "We are all with the family members of Narendra Singh."

Leader of the Opposition Rabri Devi also extended her condolences to the family. Bihar Assembly was adjourned for the day after condoling the "untimely" death of the MLA. Director General of Police, Anand Shanker, said investigations would be carried out from all angles into the death of the 35-year-old MLA. "We have collected samples from the site of occurrence and scientific investigation will be carried out from all angles," he said.

The DGP said family members could not be interrogated as they were in a state of shock after the incident.
Shanker directed the Patna zone Inspector General of Police to monitor the investigation.

JD-U MLA, son of key Nitish man, kills self, family
Patna JD-U MLA from Jamui Abhay Singh, son of a senior cabinet minister in Nitish Kumar government, killed himself after shooting down his wife and two-month-old daughter at his Patna residence early on Friday morning. Singh’s eldest four-year-old daughter, however, survived her father’s fury as she was sleeping with her grandmother in another room. Singh, 35, two-time MLA, had not been getting along well with his wife for some time. Police ruled out any foul play.

The incident took place at around 4 a.m. after the MLA, who stayed with his minister father Narendra singh Tomar at his ministerial residence near new secretariat, first shot his wife Soni Singh, 30, and two-month-old daughter Rashi with his licensed revolver in their heads and ended his life in the same fashion. Singh’s father, who holds food and consumer protection portfolio, was in his residence when the incident took place.

A distraught Narendra Singh had to be admitted to hospital after he fainted several times from the shock. Family sources said that it was a pure case of “marital dispute”. Abhay’s suicide came a rude shock not for Narendra Singh but also Nitish Kumar, who has been trying hard to keep upper caste Rajputs in JD-U fold after bataidari confusion.

Abhay Singh, political heir of his father among his four brothers, was a very popular face in Giddhore belt under Jamui having big clout among Rajput population. The minister’s eldest son Ajay Singh works in administrative position with a media group at Patna. Amit Singh and Sumit Singh, younger than Abhay, are not in politics. Abhay represented the third generation of Jamui’s political family of Srikishna Singh, a former minister. Narendra Singh comes from Bhramarpur village near Jamui.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who visited Singh’s residence to offer condolences, said it was a very unfortunate incident and a personal loss from him. Meanwhile, scores of people had flooded Patna from MLA Singh’s Assembly constituency. Vimal Singh, a resident of Jamui, said Abhay had come out from his father’s shadow with his mass appeal. Abhay’s marriage ceremony in Jamui stadium in 2005 is still fresh in public’s mind.

Santosh Singh, Feb 26, 2010

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