After the Hindustan Times, Delhi broke the story about the impending problems for Ravi Kant Sharma, I, from Panchkula was the only journalist to have talked to him in this context, on August 1, 2002, the day he applied for 10-day leave and subsequently, went underground to evade his arrest.
At his office located in one of the showrooms bang opposite Fun Republic, Mani Majra, poised and calm, Sharma knew what was on my mind. With stern and piercing looks, he offered me coffee and attempted to talk about things that were irrelevant to me.
The moment I flung the question about his comments on the HT report on investigations pointing a finger towards him, he almost retorted with stiff jaws... ``Of course I and my family had known Shivani very well, but if you think I got her killed, you are grossly wrong’’, he said. Moments later I took his leave. The next day, he proceeded on leave only to later spend over 10 years in Tihar.
However, as the media reported about his going in hiding and Delhi Police men hovering around his house, H No 19 in Sector 6, Panchkula became a new-assigned beat for journos who would spend entire days, and sometimes even nights, waiting for stories eminating from anything from retaliation of the family members to utterances of Delhi Police.
Sharma’s neighbourhood apparently pitied the scribes so much that they even started offering tea and snacks to them several times a day.
While the beat reporters remained just standing or squatting on the roadside pavements in front of the house, waiting for the family members to say something or anything till late evening, the photographers would spend nights wishing Sharma might appear or Delhi Police team question the family members.
It was one such afternoon that his wife gave me and my colleague a few minutes through one of the lawyers hired by Sharma’s family that the name of former BJP leader Parmod Mahajan cropped up. ``My husband is ready for DNA test to compare with the son of Shivani, does Parmod Mahajan dare?’’, she roared. She and her two daughters would always talk in French while an outsider would be around.
The high profile issue, however, pittered out as Madhu and her daughters steadily shifted to Delhi where they continued to back Sharma towards the end of September 2002, and the reporters’ vanished from the front of the said house, at once.