Long wait for murder justice

An army officer posted at Danapur Cantonment is tired of fighting for justice for her daughter, who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered allegedly at the instance of her in-laws.

Junior commanding officer of Danapur cantonment subedar Akhilesh Kumar Singh's daughter, Poonam Kumari (26), was kidnapped by criminals allegedly hired by her husband Saket Kumar, a lance nayak, when she had gone to Sikaria intersection in Gaya to receive some relatives on September 15, 2011. She had left for Sikaria alone after receiving telephone calls allegedly from her husband, who was earlier posted at the Army Centre, Gaya.

Two weeks on, Poonam was found murdered in an area falling under the jurisdiction of Punpun police station in Patna district. The post-mortem report confirmed that she was raped before being strangulated to death. Saket is on the run and has been declared a deserter by the army.

Subedar Singh met chief minister Nitish Kumar at his weekly janata durbar on Monday, seeking his intervention to get the prime accused arrested. Some police officers present at the janata durbar told Singh that they knew the case and assured him of "doing their level best".

It was the second time that Singh met the chief minister at the janata durbar with the justice plea. The officer said he and his son, Nitish, had met the chief minister at least 10 times and on every occasion, promises were made to arrest the main culprit.

Deputy inspector-general (Gaya range) Nayyar Hasnain Khan said: "The police have attached the property of the absconding accused and trial will begin soon."

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