23 November, 2020

Murder She Wrote

Politics, sex and enmity beget another high-profile UP murder. Is Lucknow the capital of political crime?

Nirala Tripathi
Murder She Wrote
All the mileage Lucknow has lost of late in the national power stakes, it seems eager to make up by way of political sleaze. If the Madhumita Shukla murder combined poetry and gangsterism in a uniquely UP blend before the elections, the post-poll scenario brings another case that yokes together political ambitions, sexual misdemeanour and a severely compromised police. Just check the bare facts. The body of a local BJP leader, Malti Sharma, is found a kilometre away from her house in east Lucknow on June 9. She was last seen leaving with her bodyguard to visit a senior police officer. The guard, constable Rajkumar Rai, is a prime suspect.

The other suspects—all arrested in a blaze of media attention—include, primarily, Alka Mishra, Malti’s party colleague and wife of a senior police officer, and a confidante of hers named Deepa Singh. As details tumbled out, a patchwork tale of mofussil political rivalry emerged, enveloping the local-level BJP leadership in its folds.

The story appears to run to type. Seema Rizvi, a senior BJP leader, recalls that both women were...



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