The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poet ‘killer’ awaits boy test

New Delhi/Lucknow, Nov. 6: The CBI today claimed to have in custody one of the killers of Madhumita Shukla, the poet whose murder had led to the arrest of former Uttar Pradesh minister and her lover Amarmani Tripathi.

The disclosure of the breakthrough came after two persons, including a relative of the former minister’s wife, were held in Lucknow today.

One of them has been identified as Santosh Kumar Rai (22), who is suspected to have introduced himself as Satya Prakash to Madhumita at her house in Lucknow the day she was killed. The police believe that Rai, along with an accomplice yet to be traced, shot the poet on May 9.

Whether Rai is Satya Prakash will be proved when he is paraded before a 10-year-old boy, Deshraj, Madhumita’s domestic help who had claimed to have escorted the suspected killers till the poet’s room.

Deshraj was placed in protective custody yesterday and brought to Lucknow today. The boy, who had provided details of the appearance of the suspects on the basis of which sketches were made, will be asked if Rai was one of the persons who called on Madhumita.

The other person arrested is Rohit Chaturvedi (30), who is alleged to have hired the killers. Chaturvedi is the nephew of Amarmani’s wife Madhumani, who is now being viewed by the CBI as the prime suspect in the murder conspiracy.

The bureau said Chaturvedi and Rai — both Gorakhpur residents — are being quizzed to find out who had hired them to kill the poet.

Madhumita was six months pregnant when she was killed and DNA fingerprints of Amarmani’s blood sample have been found to match with those extracted from the slain poet’s foetus. The former minister was arrested in September.

Deshraj had said the person who identified himself as Satya Prakash and another man visited the house twice to meet Madhumita. They met the poet in her room on the second attempt on May 9, after which she was found dead.

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