Clueless cops on house hunt

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  • Published 22.07.12

Patna, July 21: Police are still clueless in the murder case of Neelam Sharma, the principal of Ankur Public School, even as they searched every household in the Rajivnagar neighbourhood today.

Faced with the challenge of cracking the daring daylight crime, the men-in-uniform are desperately trying to dig out clues that might help give them some headway in the case.

Police insiders told The Telegraph that somebody known to the victim or her family was being suspected to be involved in the crime.

“The timing of the incident is perplexing. The assailant/s knew that the classes of the nursery section, which was functioning from the first floor of the house, gave over by 11am. They also had the information that Sharma’s daughter would be back home by 1pm from her school. They even knew that the driver of the Ankur Public School section in Digha, which was run by her husband, used to come to park the bus in the compound by 12.45pm every day. So the crime had to be committed in the 11am-12.30pm window,” a source told The Telegraph.

A police team, led by deputy superintendent of police (law and order) Vivekanand came to the place of occurrence this afternoon and conducted search operations in the neighbourhood.

When contacted, Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amrit Raj said: “All neighbouring houses were searched but nothing was found. However, some persons have been detained for interrogation. Raids are on in Patna to nab some of the suspects. The police, as of now, are treating the case as murder for robbery.”

Sharma’s daughter, Neha, said: “Maa (Sharma) never used to keep aside the keys to the cupboards, they were always hanging from the locks. The criminals opened every trunk in every room,” she said.

The people gathered at the Sharma residence today could not help but compare Sharma’s case with that of the murder of Papiya Ghosh (53), a noted historian and Patna University professor, and her maid in December 2006. “Ghosh’s residence is located barely a kilometre from this place. In that case, no one had heard the two women’s cries for help. Here too, Sharma was badly beaten to death but nobody heard her crying for help,” a mourning woman, preferring anonymity, said.

Five arrests were made in the case but the main accused remains absconding to this day.

Pointing to a lot of vegetables kept at one corner of the ground floor, one of Sharma’s relatives said: “Sharma must have gone to buy vegetables after the school gave over. She must have been attacked on her return. But how could nobody hear anything from the house?”