KOLKATA: A week after the gruesome murder of a school teacher, his pregnant wife and five-year-old son in Murshidabad, the police arrested a friend of the deceased man on Tuesday.
Investigations by the police revealed that Utpal Behra felt he was duped by the victim Bandhuprakash Pal, who used to work as an insurance agent besides teaching in a primary school, after realising that the premiums that he had given to Pal were not deposited with the insurance agency.
"Pal allegedly misbehaved when Behra demanded the receipts of his premiums and the accused decided to kill the teacher. Pal’s wife Beauty and son Angan were murdered as they knew the killer," said Mukesh Kumar, the superintendent of police, Murshidabad. "Behra killed the homemaker and her son to eliminate witnesses.’’
On Wednesday morning, three of the family were found hacked to death at their Jiaganj residence. The triple murder snowballed into a major political controversy after the BJP had claimed Pal was a member of the RSS, the saffron camp’s ideological mentor, and the Trinamool Congress accused the BJP of trying to gain political mileage over the tragic incident which had nothing to do with politics. The West Bengal governor, too, gave a statement condemning the incident.
Kumar said the first lead in the triple murder case emerged when the investigators were going through the call details record (CDR) of Pal’s cellphone. "We found the school teacher received a call around 10.30 pm on October 8, hours before the incident took place. Besides, we found several calls came from the same number previously. We started zeroing in on the person who was using the cellphone to call Pal," he said.
"By using the mobile phone’s tower location technology, we found Behra was present near Pal’s house before he switched off his handset," the cop added.
The police said Pal was a teacher of a primary school at Sahapur, adjoining to Jiaganj where his house is located. Behra, a mason, was a resident of Sahapur and he became a friend of Pal, who convinced him to invest in an insurance company.
"Behra gave Rs 24,000 to Pal as insurance premium a few months ago. But the teacher did not give him the receipt. Behra and his father met Pal at his school and demanded the receipt. Behra said in his confessional statement that Pal misbehaved with him and his father whenever they demanded the receipt of the premium," said Kumar.
Behra bought a knife on October 3 and kept it at his home. "On the night of the incident, he called Pal saying he wanted to meet him. Pal gave directions to his house. Since he was no stranger, Pal opened the door. Behra attacked Pal from behind after entering the house. As the teacher slumped on the floor, he ran to the adjoining room and attacked the teacher’s wife before killing the child. Behra took off his blood-stained jeans and T-shirt and dumped the murder weapon in a bush near Pal’s house,’’ said a police officer.