| Kamla Sharma at the press conference in her daughter’s house. (PTI)
Chandigarh, May 20: Madhu Sharma, who had hit the headlines while defending her husband in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, was back under media glare today after her mother-in-law said she was behind the journalist’s death and also accused her of ill-treatment.
“I think Madhu is behind Shivani’s murder,” Kamla Sharma, mother of jailed Haryana IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma, the prime accused in the case, told newsmen at her daughter’s residence.
“I am saying it after reading what has been appearing in the dailies. She also used to say that not Ravi but she would go to jail,” the 80-year-old said.
She denied that she knew anything about Sharma’s involvement in the murder. “But my husband was perturbed. He died a very unhappy man. He was very disturbed. Ravi Kant was the reason for his death,” she said.
Sharma had surrendered to Delhi police at Ambala on September 27 last year after being on the run for weeks for alleged involvement in the murder of the Indian Express journalist who was found dead in her east Delhi flat on January 23, 1999.
Kamla said she has been living with her daughter for nine months because of the ill-treatment by Madhu who “wanted to grab the Sector 6 property built by my husband G.D. Sharma” who died in 1999. The market price of the bungalow, according to real estate dealers, is around Rs 2 crore.
Kamla said Sharma did not treat her well when she went to see him in Tihar Jail. “All he made me do was sign some papers transferring the Panchkula property to his two daughters,” she said. “I want my house back,” she added.
Kamla said she had asked her son to tell Madhu to vacate the house when he was released on parole for his daughter Pragati’s wedding last month. “Even then my son did not give any reply. He only kept forcing me to attend the wedding,” she said.
The 80-year-old said she would write to the Prime Minister, the chief minister and the Haryana inspector-general of police pleading that her house be returned to her. Asked if she would take legal action, she said: “I would not like to go to court.”
Kamla said her husband had left the house in her name. “Woh mera ghar hai. But whenever I have been there, Madhu and (her granddaughter) Komal have treated me roughly. I cannot explain the treatment I have received at their hands whenever I have asked them to vacate the house,” she said while stating that she had two heart attacks.
She alleged that some certificates and fixed deposit receipts totalling nearly Rs 2.5 lakh had been grabbed by Madhu and Sharma. “I am now surviving on my late husband’s pension of Rs 3,000 and my daughter’s kindness.” She had no choice but to fall back on her daughter Sudha Joshi for shelter, she added. “I don’t have anyone else here. Two children, a daughter and another son, are living abroad.”
Kamla said she would be happy to live with her neighbours once the Panchkula house is restored to her. “I have no strength left. I will be happy to be in the company of my neighbours who will be my family,” she added.
Madhu could not be reached for comments. A visit to the Panchkula residence revealed that she had locked the house and left for an undisclosed destination with her daughter.
The tenants also refused to entertain any questions. “We don’t know anything. Please leave us alone,” they said. The guard outside the gate also denied knowledge of Madhu’s whereabouts.