Dhananjay Mahato’s voice choked. He needed to know who shot his 29-year-old grandson Abhijeet dead in the US, but he doesn’t know who to ask.
Hands folded before visiting journalists, he said: "We have questions and queries criss-crossing our minds. Who killed my grandchild? And when will his body come?" Abhijeet, who hails from Gamharia here, was found shot dead in an apartment complex. He was doing his PhD in Duke University in North Carolina
“We are not that affluent to fly to North Carolina to seek justice,” Dhananjay, a former MLA, said. “I am consoling myself that my Abhijeet's body will arrive, may be tomorrow or the day after.”
The Mahatos don't know who will follow the case to put Abhijeet's killers behind the bars. Dhananjay has pleaded with Union Minister of State for Food Processing and Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahai. "Newspapers and Shyamal, Abhijit's local guardian, are the only solace for us in our tragedy. We are trying to find out about local people who have connections in the Duke University," the grandfather said.
He kept sitting by the telephone hoping Shyamal would call and tell him about the post-mortem. “It’s six in the evening here and USA might be awake. We are expecting a call to tell us about the findings of the post-mortem,” he said.
An Indian student who was Abhijeet's friend at Duke is also helping the Mahatos, some family members said. “We have faxed an authorisation letter to the boy,” Abhijeet's aunt Poonam Mehta said.
The family said US authorities have been silent at the other end. “We are completely blank on whom to speak with to get the body back at the earliest. No authority has contacted us for support…. We do not have access to any official in the US embassy,” Poonam said. Jharkhand Deputy CM Sudhir Mahato visited Abhijeet's family and promised them help.