Nainital: Sharp-shooter Prakash Chandra Pandey alias Pappu, a prime accused in the poetess Madhumita Shukla murder case serving a life term, is said to have fled from the Gorakhpur jail on Tuesday.
The Uttar Pradesh Police are conducting raids at various places in search of Pandey, including his Gorakhpur residence.
The development comes a day after the Uttarakhand High Court upheld the life imprisonment awarded to former Samajwadi Party MLA Amarmani Tripathi and others accused in poetess Madhumita Shukla murder case.
Pandey and other accused Santosh Kumar Rai alias Satya Prakash were hired by Tripathi, his wife Madhumani and Rohit Chaturvedi- former MLA’s relative- to eliminate the poet.
A division bench of the High Court, comprising chief justice Barin Ghosh and justice UC Dhayani, yesterday rejected the plea of Tripathi and three other convicts challenging the lower court’s orders.
The bench accepted the plea of the CBI, which had demanded life imprisonment for Prakash Chandra Pandey, who was earlier found innocent by a Dehradun court.
The court directed the police to take Pandey into custody. Amarmani Tripathi was a minister in the Mayawati government in 2002-03. Later he switched to the Samajwadi Party.
Rejecting the petition of the four, the court said no relief could be granted to Tripathi or any other convict because their role in Shukla’s murder had been established by the CBI, said Virendra Singh Adhikari, counsel for the poet’s sister Nidhi Shukla.
Tripathi, his wife, Madhumani, and two others — Rohit Chaturvedi and Santosh Kumar Rai — were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Dehradun court in 2007 for hatching a conspiracy and killing Madhumita Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.