The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Daughter killed in dowry fear

Bokaro, July 1: Stray dogs revealed the bitterest truth what people in Chandankiyari would have never known: murder of a girl by her father.

Nirmal Mahto, who allegedly killed his 17-year-old daughter Jalshpi Kumaria fearing a hefty dowry demand, is absconding with his family.

Police were informed by Mahto’s neighbours who noticed street dogs fighting over parts of a body at a gutter on June 17, a few days after Mahto — a rich farmer having acres of land — left for unknown destination.

The neighbours also recognised the body to be of Jalshpi, a student of Class X.

A month ago when the neighbours did not find Jalshpi in Mahto’s house, they asked her whereabouts to which Mahto, also a flourishing businessman, and his wife said that she had gone to visit her elder sister’s place in a city for study and would return after a few years.

The autopsy report of the teenager’s body has not yet been made public though the neighbours smell foul in the entire episode which turned grave with the sudden disappearance of Mahto and his entire family.

They also told the media that even after repeated pleas Mahto used to say that he would have to pay a huge amount of money as dowry for the marriage of his younger daughter and would have nothing left in days to come.

In recent past, Mahto gave a heavy dowry during his elder daughter’s marriage and since it would have been a major problem in future, the villagers said, he had probably no option but to murder his daughter.

“Even a month ago we asked Mahto where his daughter went to which he tried to avoid replying and flatly saying that Jalshpi has gone to visit her elder sister. He always tried to avoid this topic and we did not know about the girl’s murder and burial near their house till it was exposed by the stray dogs,” said Rama Mahto, one of the neighbours.

The police raided more than two possible hideouts and other places to get hold of Mahto, who leads quite a lavish life in Chandankiyari, about 32km from the steel city.

Sources in the police said that the influential farmer would have committed the crime in connivance with family members.

According to Bokaro superintendent of police Priya Dubey, raids are on to arrest Mahto.

“An FIR against Mahto has been registered under section 302 of IPC at Chandankiyari police station and the investigation is going on to unravel the exact truth,” Dubey added.

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