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Murder taint on real estate baron

Kumar Sharad Chandra and (right) Anil Kumar Sharma

Patna/Lakhisarai, Aug. 3: Realtor Anil Kumar Sharma, one of the richest contestants in the last Lok Sabha polls, is now a murder accused.

Anil, who unsuccessfully contested the general election from Jehanabad on JDU ticket, has been accused of murdering Kumar Sharad Chandra, the former secretary of Lakhisarai’s Balika Vidyapeeth. The realtor refuted the allegation but Lakhisarai superintendent of police (SP) Ashok Kumar Singh said the role of Anil, the chief managing director of Amrapali Group, was under the scanner of police.

The realtor in his affidavit filed before the district returning officer of Jehanabad during the Lok Sabha polls had revealed that he owned movable and immovable assets worth Rs 850 crore. He had also tried his luck in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Usha Sharma, the widow of Chandra, named Anil — the chief managing director of Amrapali Group — and six others as accused in the FIR she lodged yesterday with the Town police station in connection with the murder in Lakhisarai, around 125km east from Patna.

But Anil in a statement claimed, “I have resigned from the trust of Balika Vidyapeeth and also from its official position on March 9, 2014. I have been falsely framed and the allegations of conspiracy against me in the murder of Chandra are completely false and ill-motivated.”

Chandra was shot dead at his residence on the institute premises on Saturday around 6am when he was reading newspaper.

Dispute over the institute’s property is believed to be the reason behind his murder. He was killed two days before a team from Delhi was scheduled to visit the institute to inquire into the dispute over its trusteeship, a source in the school claimed.

Singh, the Lakhisarai SP, said Praveen Kumar, a treasurer of the 15-member trust of the residential school exclusively for girls, had been arrested. He said a special police team had been constituted to arrest the rest. “The team has been given specific task,” he said.

Besides Anil and Praveen, the names of Dr Shyam Sunder Singh, Anita Sharma, Shambhu Sharan Singh, Rajendra Prasad Singhania and Radheshyam Singh figure as accused in the FIR.

Anita is the principal of the institute set up way back in 1947. Others are the president and the members of the school trust. The police said they had gone into hiding after the incident.

The SP did not rule out the involvement of contract killers in daylight murder. “The case is being probed from all angles and the truth will come out shortly,” he told The Telegraph today over phone.

Usha, the widow of Chandra, alleged that a dispute cropped up after Anil opened an engineering institute on the school premises in 2009. “My husband was ousted from the trusteeship at the behest of Anil, who has been eyeing the school’s property for long,” she said.

Usha said she and her domestic help Godawari Devi came out of the kitchen after hearing gunshots and found her husband lying in a pool of blood on the veranda. The assailants had fled by the time the duo came to the spot.

Narendra Kumar, a social activist of Lakhisarai, said: “Chandra was very energetic and Balika Vidyapeeth had become popular in the field of promoting female education because of him.”

A source in the school disclosed that two groups of people had indulged in confrontation on the campus last month.

Sughandha Sharma, the eldest daughter of victim Chandra, disclosed that Anil had established Amrapali Engineering College on the same campus and subsequently established a separate managing committee. It became the bone of contention between Anil and Chandra.

The managing committee captured the school management sidetracking Chandra. The latter moved court and filed a complaint case, which is pending in Patna High Court.

Sughandha claimed that her father had recently won the case but could not produce any document to buttress her point.