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Foetus test awaits blood samples

Calcutta, Aug. 9: Three months have passed since Madhumita Shukla was found shot through the heart in Lucknow, but no one seems any the wiser on who could have murdered her or why or whose child she was carrying.

Although Madhumita’s six-month-old foetus was sent to a Hyderabad-based autonomous research outfit for DNA fingerprinting in the last week of May, the blood samples of Amarmani Tripathi — who she was alleged to be having an affair with — have yet to be collected.

Both the crime branch of the CID and the CBI have quizzed Tripathi, the Mayavati minister who was sacked for alleged involvement in Madhumita’s May 9 murder. But neither has been able to lay their hands on his blood samples, crucial to determine the father of the foetus. Sources said Tripathi had refused to give the samples.

With the CBI on the job since June — the case was shifted from the CB-CID on requests from Madhumita’s family — whispers about political interference have begun to do the rounds. Eyebrows are being raised on why the foetus was sent to the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics instead of a Calcutta-based laboratory renowned to be the most competent to conduct such tests.

The Central Forensic Science Laboratory, which is under the home ministry, had even offered the Mayavati regime help to crack the case and sent a letter to the state DGP. But the Uttar Pradesh government did not acknowledge receiving the letter.

“It’s clear there is political pressure on the investigating agencies. CFSL houses the only DNA repository in Southeast Asia and is the most competent institution in the country to conduct such tests. Be it the pig-heart surgery in Guwahati or the Kashmiri security forces’ massacre of civilians in Panchalthan, the centre has cracked the most complex and controversial of cases,” an official said.

Even after two months, the Hyderabad centre has not submitted its report. “How can we submit a report without conducting any test' We have just received the foetus, which we need to match with reference samples of father and mother to determine the parenthood of the foetus. We haven’t received the samples till date and it’s not in our mandate to be proactive and ask for the samples from investigating agencies,” director Syed Hasnain told The Telegraph.

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