Photo: Sondeep Shankar Saab Press
It was a murder that shook the foundations of the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh.
Poet Madhumita Shukla was killed at her River Bank Colony home in Lucknow on May 8. It was a routine homicide till the post-mortem revealed that she was six months pregnant. Even as the police decided to conduct a DNA test, Madhumita's sister dropped a bombshell.
Nidhi Shukla alleged that the poet was involved with Amarmani Tripathi, minister of state in Mayawati's government.
Under intense pressure Mayawati dropped Tripathi as a minister.
Pressure from the media and Opposition forced Mayawati to first hand over the case to the state police crime branch, and, after another round of intense pressure, to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
On September 4, the DNA report confirmed the foetus' DNA matched Tripathi's sample. The CBI arrested Tripathi, who is currently in police custody. The Gorakhpur politician denies any relationship with Madhumita.
Nidhi Shukla also alleged that Tripathi's wife Madhumani may be behind the murder. Tripathi's wife is currently on the run.
As soon as Mayawati lost power, Tripathi changed his political affiliations and aligned himself with new Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
On November 11, Madhumita's servant identified Prakash Chander Pandey, arrested a day earlier, as one of Madhumita's killers. The murder weapon was recovered on November 14. The CBI also probed the police's dubious role in the case and arrested a police inspector on November 15 for 'suppression of evidence and illegal confinement of people.'
Text: R Swaminathan