Four Bihar teachers hire Maoist to kill education official

Expected to shape future, four schoolteachers in Bihar have been charged with hiring a Maoist to kill a block education officer (BEO), pursuing a case of fraud in appointment of panchayat teachers.

While three teachers, husband of yet another and two panchayat secretaries were arrested on September 12, one more teacher is evading arrest. Altogether 11 people are accused in the BEO murder case.

The arrested have been identified as Virendra Kumar, husband of panchayat schoolteacher Sudha Devi, teachers Suraj Kumar and Umesh Kumar Madhukar, besides panchayat secretaries Ayub Ansari and Dina Nath Singh.

Unknown assailants had shot at Karpi’s BEO Shalik Ram Sharma in Bihar’s Arwal district, 87 km south-west of Patna, on August 30. He succumbed to his injuries the next day.

Police said Sharma had lodged nine FIRs against five teachers and two panchayat secretaries, besides two others in the teachers’ recruitment scandal. The teachers are accused of having got their job on the basis of forged educational documents in 2006. The panchayat secretaries, who are on the selection panel of panchayat teachers, had reportedly connived in getting the teachers government jobs.

Arwal superintendent of police (SP) Dilip Kumar Mishra, who claimed to have cracked the case, said the accused had hired Vicky Paswan, a Maoist and an accused in the 2005 Jehanabad jail break case, to kill the BEO. Paswan later engaged three others to execute the job. The deal was struck for Rs 60,000, of which they paid Rs 28,000, he added.

On the basis of leads, the police initially detained teacher Santosh Kumar and Vicky Paswan, who spilled the beans during interrogation.

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