Pranava K Chaudhary & Abhay Mohan Jha
3 Dec, 2006 TIMES NEWS NETWORK
PATNA: Papiya Ghosh, a noted historian and professor of Patna University, who was working hard to restore Bihar's image and academia, was brutally stabbed to death along with her maid in what police said was a robbery-related murder.
Police said Ghosh's home in an upscale Patna neighbourhood, barely 100 metres from the Pataliputra police station and a stone's throw from home commissioner Afzal Amanullah's house, was ransacked and valuables, including a computer, were stolen.
The assailants had stabbed the 53-year-old scholar and her 70-year-old maid Maltiya Devi, covered their bodies, and left.
The carnage was discovered by another daytime maid on Sunday morning, who raised an alarm when nobody responded to her knocks.
Ghosh and her sister, Tuktuk, an IAS officer, studied in Delhi University and were famous for their academic performance and activities beyond the classrooms.
Tuktuk, currently posted as special officer to Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, rushed to Patna on Sunday for a last glimpse of her sister.
"Papiya was vigorously working to rebuild brand Bihar with her research work on Bihari diaspora,"said Shaibal Gupta, member-secretary of the Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) as news of the scholar's killing shocked Patna on Sunday morning.
Papiya was more famous as an academic in Delhi and overseas, noted Bihar historian Vijay Kumar Thakur said, adding that with Ghosh's murder fear has gripped Bihar's academia. A quiet, unassuming teacher, Papiya was a silent but stupendous scholar who had to her credit several pioneering academic research works, including those on Muslims in Bihar.
Ghosh's close friend and colleague, historian Daisy Narain while mentioning the slain scholar's work on partition said Papiya of late had begun gifting her prize possessions to friends.
"She recently donated her collection of books to East and West Educational society (a Patna-based Research institute),"she said.
"Just fours days back Papiya offered me 100 LPs for installation in the Arts College,"noted painter and Patna Arts and Crafts college principal Anunaya Chaubey told TOI.