The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poet’s ‘coerced’ kin at Vajpayee door

Lucknow, June 12: Madhumita Shukla’s family has alleged police coercion and demanded handing over of the poet’s murder case to the CBI from the CID.

Denying she ever gave a clean chit to Amarmani Tripathi, Nidhi, the poet’s sister, said: “We have no faith in any agency of the state government and are writing to the Prime Minister to request that the case be handed over to the CBI.”

Chief minister Mayavati had dropped Tripathi from her Cabinet on May 17 under fire from the Opposition, after Nidhi alleged a relationship between him and Madhumita. Tripathi’s wife, Nidhi alleged, had instigated the murder.

Madhumita’s family claimed that the police had brought a typed letter and forced them to sign it. “We were told that it was for an impartial probe, but the CID is now terrorising us in the name of inquiry,” Shanti, the poet’s mother, said over phone.

Nidhi said: “They (the police) wanted us to go to Lucknow to record our statement before a magistrate today. But we refused since we don’t trust them.” The police were to escort Madhumita’s family from hometown Lakhimpur to Lucknow for the purpose.

The CID has already recorded their statements.

After dropping Tripathi, Mayavati had transferred the case from civil police to the CID with orders to finish the probe in a month. She had said the move was recommended by the director-general of police, whom Madhumita’s family had approached with the request.

Madhumita was shot dead in her Lucknow flat on May 9 by two unidentified men.

The latest twist in the case might prove embarrassing for the state government if some women’s and non-government organisations succeed in producing the poet’s family in Allahabad High Court.

Admitting a public interest litigation seeking transfer of the case to the CBI, the court had on May 23 ordered the state and the police chief to file a counter-affidavit within four weeks.

With only days to go for the submission, the CID is gathering extensive evidence for its interim report, aware that the court will scrutinise it along with case diaries and other documents.

The thoroughness, however, has not stopped eyebrows from being raised over some aspects of the probe. For instance, a sample of Madhumita’s foetus was sent to a laboratory in Hyderabad for DNA fingerprinting last week — after a delay of almost 20 days. Worse still, the CID forgot to send a sample of the poet’s blood so it could be checked against the foetus DNA.

“I fail to understand what the CID could hope to learn from the fingerprinting of the foetus as it has no way to establish that it belonged to Madhumita, as it has not sent any other sample for DNA fingerprinting to match it with those of the foetus'” a senior police official said.

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