Police in Dhanusa said that sister-in-law Lalita Devi hired men for Rs 150,000 to kill journalist Uma Singh 19 days ago.
During a press conference on Thursday, police said that the murder is linked to family dispute over ownership of properties. Three of the accused were made public on the occasion. They include Lalita, her son Abhishek Singh, and local Maoist leader Shrawan Yadav.
Superintendent of Police Yadav Raj Khanal said Lalita admitted her involvement in the killing during the interrogation. Lalita had hired the group after her mother-in-law transferred two katthas of land to Uma's ownership. Lalita had threatened mother-in-law and Uma.
Lalita had revealed this arrangement in a telephone conversation with her son Abhishek, who was living with his uncle in Sitamadi, India, a few months before Uma's murder. Lalita hatched the conspiracy with the help of Swamiji alias Umesh Gohiwar Yadav of the Tarai Ekata Parishad. Yadav had received Rs 25,000 as the first installment.
Khanal said the murder was linked to as far as Bihar and a police team was planning to go to Bihar in a bid to chase Swamiji and his gang members who are reportedly hiding there.