Murdered Bihar legislator to be cremated Wednesday

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PATNA - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Raj Kishore Kesri, who was knifed to death at his home in Bihar’s Purnia town by a woman teacher who alleged he had raped her for over three years, will be cremated Wednesday.

“Kesri will be cremated in Purnia after arrival of his son from New Delhi. Everyone is waiting for him,” a BJP leader close to Kesri told IANS over phone from Purnia.

Hundreds of people, mostly BJP leaders and workers, gathered outside Kesri’s home since early Wednesday to pay their last tributes.

Officials in the Purnia district administration said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and a dozen of their cabinet colleagues, mostly from the BJP, will attend the last rites.

Kesri’s dramatic murder Tuesday sent shockwaves across Bihar.

The woman teacher, Rupam Pathak, around 40 years old, went to Kesri’s home in Purnia and stabbed him to death in the presence of a number of people.

“He died soon after being stabbed because his vital organs were badly damaged,” an employee at Kesri’s house said.

Kesri, a BJP legislator from Purnia assembly constituency, was 51.

“People are still hotly discussing what led Rupam to kill Kesri. It is something like a script of a Bollywood film,” said Neeraj Kumar Singh, a businessman.

Many questioned the clean chit given to Kesri by BJP leaders.

“It is not proper on part of Modi and other BJP leaders to defame a woman who said she was sexually abused. Let’s wait till the probe is made public,” theatre activist Aneesh Ankur said.

A police officer told IANS over phone from Purnia that the school teacher had last year accused Kesri of raping her 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“But later, she had withdrawn the rape charge.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A local political activist told IANS that Rupam had withdrawn the case before the October-November Bihar assembly polls after she was promised a large amount of money by Kesri, who was contesting from the Purnia seat.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.

BJP leaders rubbished Pathak’s allegation and called her a blackmailer.

“She was blackmailing Kesri and demanded money,” Deputy Chief Minister Modi of the BJP, a junior partner of Bihar’s ruling coalition led by the Janata Dal-United, said.

Modi claimed the police had given Kesri a clean chit in the case.

An investigation ordered by Nitish Kumar is in full swing and police is likely to submit a chargesheet by Thursday, an official said.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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