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Madhumita's foetus sent for DNA test
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow |
May 26, 2003 22:35 IST
The Criminal Investigation Department in Uttar Pradesh on Monday sent the foetus of slain poetess Madhumita Shukla to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics in Hyderabad for finding out its paternity.
Madhumita's blood sample has also been sent for comparison with the foetus. But the CID is yet to take a blood sample of former minister Amarmani Tripathi, who was allegedly close to Madhumita.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati dropped Tripathi from her Cabinet after reports of his love affair with Shukla surfaced.
Shukla, 24, was gunned down from close range in her two-room apartment in Lucknow's mid-market Paper Mill Colony on May 9.
Initially the UP police was handling the case. Though pressure from the opposition and media forced Mayawati to order a CID probe, she effectively clipped the wings of the probe agency by asking it to complete the investigation in a month.
While dropping Tripathi, she had promised to re-induct him if the probe gave him a clean chit.
The CID was slow to start on the case. Moreover, Mayawati also dropped police officials who were gathering evidence against Tripathi. Critics were quick to dub the probe as an 'eyewash'.
But a public interest litigation, filed by former Allahabad mayor and activist Rita Bahuguna Joshi in the Allahabad high court, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe changed all that.
The court directed the government to file its reply within a period of two weeks, which galvanised the CID into action.
Despite the late flurry of activity, officials entrusted with the case are still loath to move on a number of fronts.
For one, they still haven't formally questioned Tripathi.
The mobile phone records of the former minister and Madhumita, which shows frequent contact between the two, has also been put in cold storage.
No notice has been taken of the writings in Madhumita's personal diary, which has explicit details of her close relationship with the minister.
It is said that the mobile phone records and Madhumita's diary also have the numbers of two senior IPS officers, as well as a top IAS bureaucrat who happens to be holding a key position in the chief minister's secretariat, besides two journalists believed to be very close to the former minister.
The only witness to the murder, Deshraj (12), the domestic help of Madhumita, who saw the suspected assassin, is being kept away from the media. Even his parents were not allowed access to him and his whereabouts are not known. "He is in our safe custody," Lucknow district police chief, Vijay Kumar, said.
Complicating the case further is Madhumita's sister, Nidhi, backtracking from her earlier statement, apparently due to political pressure and deaths threats, accusing Tripathi's wife for the murder. She has also refused to cooperate with the CID inquiry.
But the CID appears unfazed by the setback and has recorded the statements of Madhumita's friends in her hometown, Lakhimpur-Kheri.