Purnea: A BJP MLA in Purnea died this morning within seconds of a woman stabbing him. She attacked Raj Kishore Kesri while he was meeting visitors at his residence. She is now in hospital in critical condition after she was assaulted by Kesri's bodyguards as well as members of the public.
The attacker, Rupam Pathak, had filed a police case last year against the MLA of raping her on different occasions over the last three years. The police is investigating the case. Kesri had denied the charges. "The woman had filed a police complaint, but when she appeared in court, she didn't stand by her allegations, even her husband denied the allegations," said police officer P K Thakur.
Pathak is a teacher at a local school in Purnea.
Kesri was serving his fourth term as an MLA. After the BJP-Nitish Kumar alliance was re-elected in Bihar late last year, MLAs were asked to hold regular meetings with the public. Kesri was in the midst of one such "janta durbar" when Pathak struck.
He was rushed to a hospital nearby but was declared dead soon after.
Shocked at the news of Kesari's death, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed senior police official to thoroughly review the security of all legislators, and to ensure frisking of all visitors at legislators' homes.
Kumar asked Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to rush to the spot immediately and said the cremation would take place with full state honours. "It appears the lady in question was trying to blackmail the MLA," said Modi, who believes that the police has not found any evidence against Kesri.
"There was no issue at all. It appears the lady in question was trying to blackmail the MLA. She had also filed a police case, although the police could not gather any evidence against the MLA. We cannot really ask for too much security at these kind of meetings. The people do come in large numbers, I don't know if it is possible to check everyone," said Sushil Kumar Modi.
Shocked and saddened by the incident, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav also said that security should be maintained at such meetings. "Meeting people openly cannot be avoided but there should be security and a distance should be maintained. They should have security when meeting other people. The government is shown in a bad light if an MLA is murdered," he said.
Story first published:
January 04, 2011 11:00 IST