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Killer identified in Meher murder case

Meher's driver Ganga Prasad as well as her daughter-in-law, Kavita, key witnesses in the case, confirmed Rawat as the killer.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 15:28 IST

Key witnesses in the Meher Bhargava murder case have identified Sunny Rawat as the man who pulled the trigger on the former lawyer whose death has sparked public outrage in Uttar Pradesh.

The identification parade was held on Wednesday evening at the district jail here, where Rawat has been kept after he was picked up by cops on March 29.

Meher's driver Ganga Prasad as well as her daughter-in-law, Kavita, key witnesses in the case, confirmed Rawat as the killer.

Rawat, however, has changed three versions since his arrest.

The day he was arrested, Rawat told Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police Ashutosh Pandey that he was with notorious criminal Sachin Pahadi and saw him firing at Meher on February 28.

Pahadi had shot at Meher after she objected to lewd remarks he and his cohorts made at Kavita outside a residential apartment in downtown Hazratganj.

The bullet wound left the vivacious Meher completely paralysed. She was admitted to New Delhi's Apollo Hospital where she eventually died on March 25.

A day after his testimony, Rawat did a volte face and publicly confessed to having pumped bullets into 52-year-old Meher, who was married to local Congress leader Luv Bhargava.

However, 24 hours later, when he was produced before a court, Rawat once again retracted from his statement and claimed that his earlier confession was made under police duress.

"I did not shoot Meher Bhargava," he told the court.

While Rawat's changing versions aroused suspicion, what added to the confusion was the sudden change in the statements of the Bhargava family.

Luv as well as other family members and their driver Ganga Prasad, who had named Pahadi as the killer, promptly pointed their finger of suspicion on teenaged Rawat after his arrest.

What gave yet another turn to the case was the insistence of the Lucknow police that Rawat was not the real culprit. "We are convinced that Sachin Pahadi fired the bullet at Meher," Pandey said.

Meanwhile, the reward for Pahadi's arrest has been raised from Rs 2,500 to Rs 50,000. "We are still on Pahadi's trail as his arrest will unravel the truth," Pandey said.