The story of the deaths of Shilpi Jain and Gautam Singh is a tragic one. Two lovers who took their own lives because they could not be together. It soon turned more sinister, however, when it was discovered that they were both murdered for what seemed like political reasons.
The Story of Shilpi and Gautam
In July of 1999, in Patna Bihar, two bodies were discovered by the Gandhi Maidan Police. The bodies were those of Shilpi Jain and Gautam Singh. They were found in the garage of MLA Quarter, number 12, inside of a White Maruti Zen.
Shilpi Jain was the daughter of Kamla Stores owner, Ujjwal Kumar Jain. She was a former Miss Patna beauty queen. Gautam Singh was a youth wing leader of the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal's party. His father was a London-based doctor. It sounds like the perfect love story.
However, Shilpi's family were against her relationship with Gautam Singh. Her father, who was a businessman, was resentful of Gautam's political ambitions. Both were depressed, believing there was no future for them. It is believed that they married in secret and, on the night they were last seen, had intended on consummating their marriage. They hade been with friends until late in the evening. Their friends stated they were upset and sad. It was believed, at the time, that they had a suicide pact. A medical examination showed that Shilpi had sex before allegedly killing herself.
Suicide of Murder?
It wasn't until a week later that Shilpi's parents broke their silence and claimed their daughter was murdered. The parents of Gautam had, so far, stayed out of the limelight. Local media pointed out some glaring loopholes in the theory given by the police as well. And many political figures had fingers pointing at them as possible culprits.
The investigation was handled badly from the start. There was the question of why so many politicians have appeared on the scene before the police turned up. Who told them about the deaths? The car that the bodies were found in had been driven by a constable to the police station. This rendered it impossible to collect any fingerprints from the steering wheel.
One of the inconsistencies in the police report was that the garage they were found in was locked from the inside. However, the key was missing. This draws the question of how anyone outside knew there were two dead bodies inside. It was suggested that only someone who had prior knowledge of the situation could have called the police.
M.S Bhatia, the City Superintendent of Police, claimed that both Shilpi and Gautum died from a sleeping pill overdose or poisoning. However, a more thorough report would be needed to find out exactly what had happened.
The CBI Steps In
The political uproar over the killings forced the State Government to hand the case over to the CBI. When the CBI took over the case they collected the vaginal fluid of Shilpi and sent that off for DNA testing in Hyderabad. A high profile youth leader of RJD was asked for a blood sample. This could not be obtained because the person in questions would not cooperate.
When the results of the DNA report came back, it showed that Shilpi had been raped before she died, by more than one person. The identities of these individuals were not revealed. It looked more and more like this was a murder and not a suicide. But who did it and why?
In Patna, there were rumors that the murders had actually taken place elsewhere. The bodies were then moved to where they were found in the Maidan Quarter, by a number of influential people. One of the main accused was Sadhu Yadav, who was a business partner of Gautum Sign. They ran a restaurant together. It is believed that Sadhu is the person who refused DNA testing at the time.
Yadav is the brother of Rabri Devi, who is married to Lalu Prasad Yadav. Both where senior RJD leaders. Many felt that the local police intentionally destroyed any evidence that may have pointed to the real culprits in this case. Sushil Modi, who was then Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, pointed a finger at the relatives of the Chief Minister as being involved. He also felt that the police were trying to hush up the case.
Four years after the CBI took on the investigation, the case was closed. It was stated that it was a case of suicide and that no murder or rape had taken place. The parents of Shilpi still believe that their daughter and Gautam were murdered. They question why it took 4 years for the CBI to reach a conclusion if there was no evidence of murder and rape.