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Agonising wait continues for Sahu family

By Vikram Sharma



Omnarayan Sahu and his wife Anuradha Sahu. In the background are the pictures of Omnarayan Sahu's mother, Jaiwanthi Bai and daughter, Ankita Sahu. — Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

HYDERABAD, MAY 15. Only assurances and hope are the two things, which the Sahu family at Langer Houz is living with. Twenty months later, they look forward to the day when the culprits, who brutally killed two of their family members, will be brought to book.

The Sahu household, a closely knit family, were living happily till tragedy struck in the small hours of September 3, 2002, when the culprits, believed to be a dacoit gang from outside the State, entered their house and killed the eldest member of their family, 68-year-old Jayanti Bai Sahu, and her 14-year-old grand daughter, Ankita Sahu. They fled with gold jewellery worth over Rs. 20 lakh.

The next day, senior police officers and the then Home Minister, T. Devender Goud, visited the place and assured the shocked family members of bringing to book those responsible for the heinous act within 24 hours. However, even today the police remain absolutely clueless.

A screwdriver used as a weapon, beedi stubs lying here and there, a torchlight and an empty liquor bottle, is all what the police found at the crime scene.

Preliminary investigations could not throw much light on the case. The police reconstructed the scene, which led them to believe that the assailants had watched a movie in the theatre, adjacent to the house. Later, they scaled the compound, entered the house and headed straight to the puja room, where the jewellery was kept. While coming out, the victims probably saw them.

While the girl was pushed against the wall resulting in she sustaining a fatal head injury, the elderly woman was throttled. The culprits also inflicted wounds on their faces with a screwdriver. Later, they had dinner in the kitchen and walked away.

What surprised the investigating authorities was the presence of two Alsatian dogs, which did not even bark when the crime was being committed. Perhaps, some of the assailants were familiar with the household for the dogs to remain quiet, the police thought. The other family members, who were asleep on the first floor, could not hear any commotion or cry for help.

The Sahu family owns a petrol bunk, theatre and a jewellery shop. The police questioned all the employees, but could not achieve a breakthrough. The case file is now gathering dust in Central Crime Station (CCS). "I met the Home Minister four times. I was made to run around the offices of various police officers. All of them assured that the case would be cracked within a few days, but nothing has come out so far. If the police put the required efforts, then the mystery can be solved," says a tearful Kanhayya Lal Sahu, son of Jayanti Bai Sahu. "We are not bothered about the loss of jewellery, we only want to see those responsible, behind bars. This is what we pray everyday before God," he adds.

Jayanti Bai's daughter, Om Shruti says, "We really miss them. Ankita was a darling. Hope the culprits are arrested soon." Ankita is the daughter of Om Narayan Sahu, elder brother of Kanhayya.

A senior police official admitted that there was no follow-up action immediately after the double murder. "In-depth investigation should have been done when the case was fresh, at least some clues could have been obtained. Now, after two years, it is difficult to get any clue."

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