MEERUT: PhD scholar Ankit Khokhar, 40, who was murdered by his landlord over Rs 40 lakh that the statistician had lent the latter in October this year, wanted to become a world class professor and was planning to go to Germany to further study the subject, said Dr Vikrant Jawla, his close friend. The landlord, Umesh Sharma, 35, was arrested by the UP police on Wednesday.
Ankit was allegedly strangled by Sharma, with a towel on October 6. Sharma then chopped his body into four pieces with a saw and dumped the parts at several places, including the Ganga canal in Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar.
According to police, Umesh, a compounder at a private hospital in Modinagar, had borrowed the money to set up a business and killed him to avoid repaying the sum. The matter came to light, after six friends of Ankit filed a “missing” complaint with police on December 11.
Describing Ankit as a “master statistician”, Jawla — Ankit’s hostel roommate for three years who now runs a private coaching institute in Meerut — said that he had met him at Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCSU) in Meerut for the first time in 2002. After completing MA in 2004, Ankit and Jawla pursued M Phil in statistics and MSc in mathematics, respectively, from CCSU (also called Meerut University) in 2005.
Ankit,a native of Mukundpur village in Baghpat, also qualified for NET with JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) in 2005. He then enrolled himself for a PhD course in BHU in 2008.
He later returned to Modinagar and lived in a rented room, and gave tuitions in between.
In 2017, Ankit decided to enroll himself for PhD in statistics at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and submitted his thesis in July 2022, added Jawla, who is now a mathematics teacher.
“I learnt statistics from him during my preparation for NET in 2004,” Jawla further said, adding that “Ankit was also a good human being.” Jawla’s mother Omviri Devi said, “Ankit used to respect me a lot. He was like a son.”
Meanwhile, local residents at his native village are shocked to hear about his murder.
Ankit’s neighbour Sanjiv Chaudhary, the village head of Mukundpur, said, “Since childhood, Ankit had been a brilliant student. He used to spend most of his time studying.”
Chaudhary added that Ankit’s father, Rampal Singh, was a sports teacher at Lalkhedi inter-college in the district. Ankit had a well-built house equipped with all facilities in Mukundpur.
Around six months ago, he sold the place along with 18 bigha of ancestral land to pursue academics abroad.
“Ankit was not married. He used to say ‘I am married to statistics’,” said Chaudhary, adding, “Ankit considered Umesh a good friend and gave him full support. But, Umesh betrayed him.”

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