When Barabanki sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ratibhan Verma told his driver to hire contract killers to bump off his neighbours, he hadn’t figured that his messenger would become the victim of his wife’s wrath and that he would be in the dock.
But that’s precisely what happened. In a complicated series of twists, Verma’s wife hired the same contract killers to murder the driver. The second plan succeeded and the Vermas ended up in the cooler.’
Verma suspected his neighbours, Vivek Awasthi and Kusum Mishra, were “spoiling” his daughter.
What exactly he meant by “spoiling” is not yet clear, but was apparently serious enough for him to contemplate murder.
Accordingly, he told his driver of five years, Saravjeet (23), to hire contract killers to do the job.
This is where the plot took an unexpected twist. Moti, Verma’s chowkidar, told Kailasha (Verma’s wife) that Saravjeet had hired contract killers to bump them (the Vermas) off in order to grab their properties.
Kailasha then got in touch with the three contract killers – Ramswarup, Ramdulare and Vipin – Saravjeet had recruited and offered them a bigger “supari” (contract) to kill the driver, which they did.
Verma, unaware of his wife’s machinations, filed an FIR on his driver’s murder and even went to his native village in Bahraich district to attend his last rites.
The police, while probing the case, discovered that the killers had met Verma a few times (to discuss the planned murder of his neighbours) and even stayed over at his official residence, a police officer said.
Under questioning, Verma broke down and admitted his plan. Then, his wife, too, broke down and confessed everything.
The Vermas and the three hitmen have been arrested.