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Land dispute whiff in girls’ murders

Police have got vital clues in the February 7 murder of two sisters at Bhalua village on the Gaya-Cherki Road under the jurisdiction of Bodhgaya police station.

According to police sources, a land dispute is said to be the motive behind the murders. They are also probing a love affair angle but officials refrained from disclosing anything. While the two sisters, Shivani (25) and Sakshi (27), were murdered and died on the spot, their mother succumbed to injuries sustained in the attack a few days later. Sharda Devi died in the night of February 11 at a private hospital in Patna.

The police had earlier detained five persons for interrogation on the basis of call details of the cellphones of the sisters. They were later released.

Following the twin murders on February 7, Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nishant Tiwary had set up an eight-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by Gaya city superintendent of police (SP) Chandan Kushwaha.

The SIT went to Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and returned a few days back. The team is learnt to have gathered vital clues in connection with the murders. But the city SP refrained from commenting on any recent development and said investigation was going on.

After the murder of the two girls, an FIR was lodged with Bodhgaya police station on the statement of Kunti Devi, an aunt of the girls (their father’s sister).

Police have filed a case under Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with dacoity and murder. The criminals had fled with cash and jewellery from the house. The girls’ father, Rampravesh Pandey, had got the jewellery made for his elder daughter Shivani’s wedding.

Shivani worked as a teacher at a private school in Bodhgaya while Sakshi had joined as assistant accountant in the office of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC).

Pandey himself is a Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) agent and was in Patna on February 7, the day his two daughters were murdered. The criminals had also beaten up Pandey’s wife Sharda Devi and the sister Kunti Devi.

The murder of the girls was a brutal affair. They had been hit with a hard object between their temple and eyes. The post-mortem examination found no evidence of rape.

On the morning of February 8, a forensic science laboratory (FSL) team from Patna had visited the spot and collected blood samples and other evidence.