| A teacher sports a black badge and takes a class at Annie Besant National School in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Teachers across Patna on Tuesday took the silent protest path, as police said they did not want to jump to conclusion in the Neelam Sharma murder case because “what appears is not always the reality”.
Neelam, the principal of Ankur Public School (nursery section), was murdered on July 20 at her Rajiv Nagar residence-cum-school. Four days on, the police have no leads in the case. The circumstances in which the crime was committed point at a robbery as the primary motive behind the murder. A police officer told The Telegraph that though investigations were at a primary stage, the police were not sure if dacoity was the reason behind the murder.
“An FIR under Section 396 of the IPC (dacoity with murder) has been lodged by Sanjay Kumar, the husband of the deceased who is also the proprietor of Ankur Public School. However, all options are open before the police. Bahut baar jo dikhta hai, woh hota nahi hai (many a time what appears is not always the reality). The probe is on and it will take some time to crack the case,” a senior police officer said.
Eight rooms of the residence-cum-school were ransacked and jewellery worth lakhs were stolen after Neelam’s murder, according to Sanjay’s statement.
“Prima facie the case looks simple. The police were given an obvious direction to the investigation. But suddenly the case could take a completely new turn. Maybe, the criminals wanted to confuse the police by making the murder look like a fallout of dacoity,” the officer said.
Sources said the fact that nobody heard anything or saw anybody enter the premises of the school was perplexing.
On the other hand, teachers continued with their protest, which was started by Bihar Public School & Children Welfare Association on Monday.
Authorities and teachers of Ankur Public School and many other institutions, including DAV Khagaul, Gyan Niketan, St Karen’s, Patna Central School, May Flower and BD Public School, sported black badges to mark their protest against the murder.