Media begins to hound Sobhraj’s ‘little wife’

July 4th, 2008 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, July 4 (IANS) Till 24 hours ago, few in Nepal knew about Nihita Biswas. But as the news of her becoming engaged to imprisoned former crime guru Charles Sobhraj spread like wildfire, the 20-year-old overnight became the quarry of the media at home and abroad. Journalists, the paparazzi and television channels were vying with one another to track down the unknown woman Sobhraj affectionately calls his “little wife”.

“I am going to change my mobile telephone number,” the Nepali beauty told IANS.

The news of the winter-spring romance has kindled fresh interest in Sobhraj, who has been serving a 20-year prison sentence in Nepal since his arrest in 2003 and conviction for the murder of an American tourist in 1975.

Fighting his final appeal against the sentence in Nepal’s Supreme Court and anticipating the verdict any day now, Sobhraj, however, has vastly changed from the cool man with nerves of steel he was described as in the 60s and 70s, when tales of his crime exploits hit the headlines worldwide.

“The media has been writing false things about me,” he fumed. “How can they go on calling me a serial killer when no court ever found me guilty of any murder?”

The prison terms he served before being arrested in Nepal were mostly over passport forgery and theft. Though an Indian court once found him guilty of manslaughter, he was declared innocent on appeal and released from prison.

He is also concerned that the media glare could make the prison authorities stop Nihita from visiting him.

The tale of how he met Nihita in prison when she visited him in the hope of getting an assignment as an interpreter was splashed on its front page Friday by the Himalayan Times daily of Nepal, the paper that caused Sobhraj’s arrest in 2003.

It made ripples when the daily carried a photograph of Sobhraj making a phone call in Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hub, and raked up his past life, including the unsolved double murder of American Connie Jo Bronzich and her Canadian boyfriend Laurent Armand Carriere for which Nepal police suspected Sobhraj.

“Prison no bar to Charles Sobhraj’s love antics,” the report said.

The news came as a boon for the Nepali morninger Commander.

“Mine is the only paper to have carried a photograph of the fianc

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