Woman found shot dead in godman’s complex in Uttar Pradesh (Lead)March 27th, 2009 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, March 27 (IANS) A 24-year-old woman was found shot dead Friday in an ‘ashram’ (complex) of Hindu godman and former MP Sakshi Maharaj in Uttar Pradesh’s Farooqabad district, the police said.
The victim, identified as Ragini Verma, was found inside a locked room in the complex with a bullet injury to the head.
According to the police, the woman was seen by withnesses with a youth around 6 a.m. Friday and soon after a gun shot was heard from the complex.
Superintendent of Police Kashinath Singh said: “Prima facie it looks like a love affair turned sour. There were at least two dozens youths staying in the complex and all of them are absconding after the incident.”
Maharaj said: “I came to know about the incident at around 10 p.m. and it is clearly a political conspiracy against me. I do not know the girl and the killer does not live in the ashram.”
Maharaj, who is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Farooqabad, was a Bharatiya Janata Party MP in 1996. He later joined the Samajwadi Party and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
However, he was expelled in 2006 after he featured in a sting operation by a television channel on the misuse of MP Local Area Development Funds scheme.
Maharaj also added that he knows the victim’s father who is a lawyer by profession.
“The mahant (head priest) of the ashram told me that he (victim’s father) was a regular visitor but the girl never accompanied him.”
The complex, according to Maharaj, was built in 1996 and he rarely visits it.
“I was planning to go to Farooqabad for my election campaign in the next couple of days and this (murder) will affect my campaigning. However, I will definitely go there in the next few days,” said Maharaj over phone, not willing to disclose his location.
Currently he is the Rashtriya Kranti Party nominee for the Farooqabad seat.
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