University Professor and eminent historian
Papiya Ghosh was stabbed to death along with
her elderly maid, Malti, at her sprawling
Patliputra Colony residence last night in
course of robbery. After killing both the
women, the anti socials decamped with
valuables in her Maruti car.
Papiya and her maid were
cremated in the afternoon after the arrival
of her sister, Tuktuk Ghosh, a West Bengal
cadre IAS officer. She is currently posted
as Principal Secretary to Lok Sabha Speaker
Somnath Chatterjee. Papiya, a spinster, was
the third among four sisters. Two of her
sisters live abroad.
The incident took place
barely 100 meters from the residence of Home
Secretary Afzal Amanullah and the Patliputra
Police Station, alongside the busy main
road. It came to light on Sunday morning
when Gita, the maid of a neighbour NK Prasad
(retired IAS officer), went there.
When the door did not open
despite persistent knocking, the maid
informed Prasad. His daughter-in-law went
there to inquire why the door was still
shut. When nobody responded from inside, she
pushed the door, which opened as it was not
bolted from inside. As she went inside, she
found Papiya and Malti lying dead in a pool
of blood. The entire house bore tell-tale
signs of having been ransacked. Almirahs
were open and the electronic gadgets
missing. Even the air-conditioner had been
taken away. The police was immediately
informed about the twin murders. Prasad said
he called Patna Zone IG Rajyavardhan Sharma
who had studied with Papiya.
By then, it was too late.
A huge crowd collected at her residence as
soon as the news spread.
Incidentally, it was around the same time
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was distributing
prizes to policeman, including Patna SSP,
for meritorious service at the CID Function.
Sharma said that
primefacie it appeared to be a case of
robbery during which the Professor and her
maid were killed as they might have resisted
the dacoits. Locals, however, believed it to
be the handiwork of musclemen who had their
eyes on her property. She had reportedly
received threats earlier also.
The Police are yet to
achieve and breakthrough in the case.
Papiya’s father UK Ghosh, a former IAS
officer, was also killed under mysterious
circumstances in early 1950s.
“She was living alone. There was just her
maid around and the anti-socials might have
been aware of it,” he said, adding, the
Police had collected finger-prints and
pressed sniffer dogs into service to gather
clues. “We are looking at the case from all
possible angles,” he added.
According to neighbours,
there was a burglary attempt at Papiya’s
residence a couple of years ago. They said
that since Papiya lived alone, she did not
want to rent her house to anybody.