Opposition for judicial probe into Bihar legislator’s killing

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PATNA - 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 CPI(ML) also favoured a judicial probe.

“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“But later, she had withdrawn the rape charge.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.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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