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Scent of a love triangle in Madhumita murder

Lucknow, May 11: The murder of Madhumita Shukla turned up the political heat in Uttar Pradesh today with the poet’s sister accusing the wife of state minister Amarmani Tripathi of plotting her death.

According to police, Madhumita was murdered on Friday in her Paper Mill Colony flat by two young men known to her. She was unmarried and six months pregnant.

Elder sister Nidhi today alleged: “My sister was having a relationship with UP minister Tripathi and the latter’s wife, Madhumani, had objected to the relationship. She had threatened to eliminate my sister.”

Tripathi, who said he was ready for an inquiry by the “CBI or any agency”, however, was evasive about his willingness to undergo a DNA test. “I will cooperate with the police but I did not have any relations with Madhumita and neither have I ever visited her house,” he said.

“She was a poet and I had literary leanings, so we met during kavi sammelans in my constituency.”

Tripathi’s denial notwithstanding, leader of the Opposition Mohammad Azam Khan was quick to lead a Samajwadi Party team to Raj Bhavan and seek Tripathi’s dismissal and arrest.

Rashtriya Kranti Party chief Kalyan Singh demanded the case be handed over to the CBI.

Tripathi, already in the thick of controversy after Allahabad High Court indicted him in a land-grab case, said: “Nidhi spoke to me on phone and apologised for her statement. She said she had been pressured by my political rivals (the Samajwadi).”

Even before Nidhi’s statement to a TV news network and the subsequent Opposition demand, the police had yesterday brought back Madhumita’s body from Sitapur to obtain DNA samples from the foetus. The poet was taken to Sitapur to be cremated after the autopsy in Lucknow.

The police move followed strict instructions from chief minister Mayavati, who discussed the case with top police officers immediately after she returned from Delhi last evening.

Aware of the political implications of the case, Mayavati ordered a thorough probe.

The police had on Friday found names and phone numbers of several top state politicians, bureaucrats and a couple of journalists in the phonebook of Madhumita’s cellphone.

The daughter of a class IV government employee in Lakhimpur, Madhumita was living away from her parents in Lucknow for the last two years.

Though she was formally educated up to the middle-school level, she had become a high-profile poet apparently by exploiting her connections.

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