The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bihar councillor’s wife shot dead

Kulti (Burdwan), May 7: Arati Devi, 28, the wife of a councillor of Buxar municipality in Bihar, was gunned down this morning in a busy area here when she was on her way to bring her twin sons back from school.

Eyewitness Govind Sharma, who owns a shop in the BDO Para area, said he spotted Arati walking along the Grand Trunk Road. “As she approached the lane close to my shop, two men on a motorcycle drove up to her and one of them asked her to approach them. As she turned and went towards them, one of the youths shot her in the temple at point blank range,” he said.

As soon as the gunshot rang out, pedestrians ran helter-skelter and shopkeepers downed shutters. After several minutes — the women lay bleeding on the road unattended — a few people ventured to the scene and took her to a nursing home, where the doctors pronounced her dead.

On receiving the news, Arati’s aunt Sheila Devi arrived at the police station to take home the five-year-old twins, Ajay and Vijay. But police decided to keep the boys in their “safe” custody for the sake of investigations. Arati’s husband, Jairam Khushwaha, who lived in Buxar with the rest of his family, has been informed of the incident.

“Jairam sent his wife and two sons here so that they could get admission in a good school and they were studying in an English-medium school. I cannot understand why innocent Arati was killed,” Sheila Devi said.

But Arati’s landlady in Brindavan Pally said Jairam had visited them only twice in the four months that his wife and children had moved to the town.

Burdwan police superintendent B.N. Ramesh said family feud could not be ruled out as a reason behind the murder. “We are investigating the case thoroughly and we will get to the truth soon,” he said.

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