The Telegraph
Saturday , October 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Maoist hand in temple murder

Hazaribagh, Oct. 26: Giridih police claimed to have solved the October 7 murder of the 83-year-old manager of a Jain trust, saying Maoists shot dead the victim for his tough stand against an extramarital relationship.

Superintendent of police (SP) Amol Venukant Homkar said today that Maoists gunned down P.C. Sharma, who was both Bharat Varshiya Digambar Jain Tirth Committee general manager and Niharika Trust in-charge, near a Parasnath temple entrance because he had sacked a married woman labourer indulging in an illicit relationship.

The woman, Sanjhali Devi alias Churki, wife of one Sirka Majhi of Jobhitola Taratand area under Nimiyaghat police station, used to work as a cleaner at an organisation headed by victim Sharma, but the police have not specified which one.

Police have also refused to divulge the name of Churki’s lover, whom Sharma apparently knew well.

Police are also keeping the identities of the three persons responsible for the murder — two men and one woman — under wraps.

But police confirmed that Churki had been taken into judicial custody on October 24. They have also claimed that they would round up the three Maoists soon.

What has emerged from Churki’s mobile phone details and interrogation is that the woman, after being sacked, had complained to Maoists in the Madhuban area last year.

Naxalites, known to often act as parallel governing bodies in their strongholds, had threatened Sharma with dire consequences unless Churki got back her job.

Churki got her job back while her lover was sacked. After three months, however, Churki was again shown the door and her lover taken back.

When the woman approached the Maoists again, Sharma was again told that he would have to take her back at any cost.

“But the second time, Sharma refused to entertain the diktat. This defiance angered the Maoists who decided to embark upon a very public murder at the entrance of the temple,” said the SP.

In full view of thousands of pilgrims around 5pm, Maoists gunned Sharma down at point-blank range at the gate of Bimal Sagar Maharaj temple at Parasnath Hills. They also hit his head and face with a shovel before fleeing the spot.

Sharma’s family lives in New Delhi.

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