Servant as Murderer

"The fact that Nepalis are by nature straightforward has been proved false."

On the night of 13 January 1996, 48-year-old executive Satya Prakash Sharma, his 42-year-old wife Shobhana, daughter Charu (20), son Puneet (15) and their nine-year-old domestic help, Dinesh, were bludgeoned to death in their flat in the upper middle class locality of Vasant Kunj in South Delhi. Even by the gory standards of the Indian capital, this one shocked the city.  cFour months later, police arrested Tika Ram, the 20-year-old servant of the Sharmas. The arrest of the young Nepali made page-one news in all the Delhi newspapers, and pictures showed a dazed Tika Ram in handcuffs being led to the courts. Police said he had confessed to the murders.

The Sharmas was just one household of scores where family members were killed by domestic helpers in Delhi over the past year. Five of 12 incidents in the first quarter of 1996 are said to have involved Nepali servants, which led the New Delhi police to issue a circular suggesting that Nepalis not be hired as servants because of increasing criminality among them.

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Himal Southasian