| Madhumita Shukla
New Delhi, Aug. 18: Cricket cannot stay away from scandal, it seems. Otherwise, why should an internationally-known cricket official’s name crop up in connection with Madhumita Shukla, the poet who was murdered in Lucknow three months ago'
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav dropped a bombshell in the Lok Sabha during the no-trust motion debate when he mentioned a foreigner, along with two Uttar Pradesh ministers, as having had links with Madhumita.
The Speaker expunged the reference to the foreigner, but CBI officials are aware of a possible connection, though they wonder what, if at all, the gentleman’s relationship with Madhumita was.
Investigators have documentary evidence to suggest Madhumita and the foreigner were present in a five-star Delhi hotel for two days in November 2002.
The cricket official had checked into the hotel on November 19 and left it two days later, sources said. He also held a news conference during his stay in Delhi.
The CBI has found that Madhumita had two magnetic (card) keys to the room occupied by the foreigner, but cannot find an explanation as to how she came to possess them. The keys were recovered from her residence after her murder.
After finding the keys, the agency wrote to the hotel and its security officer confirmed that they were to the room booked by the foreigner.
Key cards of another five-star hotel in Delhi were recovered from her residence.
In her diary, Madhumita wrote about her stay in the capital’s five-star hotels. “Evening had set in. I was in a Delhi hotel, he was in Sadan. Since evening I was calling him. At 10.30 I received a call from him, asking me to come over to meet him,” she wrote, recalling her conversation with Amarmani Tripathi, the Uttar Pradesh minister who was forced to resign after her murder.
Last week, the CBI took blood samples from Tripathi to establish the parentage of the child she was carrying at the time of her death.
The CBI, however, has no clue what she was doing in these hotels at the time. Neither is there any effort to investigate the angle further.
This may have prompted Mulayam Singh to claim that attempts were being made to “suppress facts” in the Madhumita murder case. She was shot dead at her Paper Mill Colony residence in Lucknow by unknown assailants on May 9.
“The murder is being probed by the CBI which is directly under the Prime Minister. It was going in the right direction till recently but now attempts are being made to suppress facts in the probe,” he said while seeking a reply from Atal Bihari Vajpayee.