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Sacrifice poser for DRDO

Bhopal, Oct. 11: A scientist with the country’s top defence research organisation woke up to find two colleagues attacking him with an axe amid chanting of mantras, prompting his wife to lodge a case of attempted human sacrifice.

Sushil Kumar Sharma escaped with some injuries, but the police aren’t ready to treat the October 6 incident as a human sacrifice bid in the face of intriguing details and a four-day delay in filing the FIR.

The suspicion is the events could be a fallout of internal rivalry.

Sharma is a junior scientist with the Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), the premier lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is under the ministry of defence.

“At present we can’t say it’s a case of an attempted human sacrifice,” the additional superintendent of police, Gwalior, Manohar Singh Verma, said. A medical examination of Sharma’s injuries is going on, he added.

Sharma’s wife Shridha has named senior scientists M. Kameshwar Rao and A.S.S.V. Bhaskar in her complaint. They have been charged with criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and causing hurt.

Senior police officers said they found Sridha’s complaint odd, though the family claimed the FIR was delayed because senior scientists had threatened her with dire consequences if she informed the police.

But police said they were intrigued by the circumstances. “There are too many questions to be answered. We expect some dramatic turn of events,” a senior officer said.

The two accused scientists and Sridha are known to be devotees of Pitambar Peeth, a shrine in neighbouring Datia famous for a variety of rituals and tantra practitioners.

According to the complaint, Rao had called Sharma and invited him to his home. Once there, Sharma found Bhaskar chanting mantras and performing rituals. Sharma, said to be unwell, reportedly dozed off but woke up to find the duo lunging at him with an axe. The injuries he sustained included bite marks, said the complaint.

The duo, not arrested yet, are out of town. Rao is said to have gone to Maharashtra while Bhaskar is in Delhi.

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