BHUBANESWAR : Who is Sneha Swakhyar Samal? A man with a different personality disposition? Or someone who clinically carried out a murder-spree?
A day after the 40-year old walked into a doctor’s home, knifing him and two others to death in the City, Commissionerate Police continues to grapple in dark to ascertain what drove him to the murderous mood.
Recovering at a private hospital in the City, Samal was quizzed by police for a brief period on Wednesday. While recording his statement, he confessed to pre-meditated killing of Atulya Chandra Meher, an orthopaedic surgeon.
Samal also told the cops that he met Meher for the first time on October 3 when he took his daughter for medical consultation at KIMS, where the doctor served. Although his daughter had complained of joint pain, Samal was apparently reluctant to see a doctor. He later gave in after much persuasion by his wife.
During the consultation, Meher had advised investigations suspecting Vitamin D deficiency for which the accused paid more than `2,000 and he was not happy about that. Samal was asked to get the test reports of his daughter checked on October 9, but he met the doctor the next day. Those were the two times, the accused told the investigators, he met Meher.
Whether Samal had any acquaintance with the doctor in the past is still being ascertained. Meher, investigation revealed, had left for Dubai in 1998 and returned in January this year while Samal took up job of a medicine representative (MR) during 2000-2001.
His family members told police that he was “aggressive” in his behaviour, had developed a “short-temper” and become reclusive of sorts. Two strips of Clonazepam __ an anti-depressant __ were found in his bag and police believe he was self-medicating.
Police Commissioner R P Sharma said the accused had a negative perception about the doctors fraternity and even complained that medical practitioners have been fleecing patients in the name of meaningless investigation and drugs. In the past, he reportedly had lost his job as MR following complaints of a doctor. “Despite his negative mindset against doctors and his experience with Meher on two occasions, this kind of reaction is not normal. We are trying to understand why he planned the murder,” he added.
The prescription and medicines advised by Meher are in possession of the police, besides a diary in which the accused had noted down employment details of Meher and made sketches of the doctor as well his family members.
Police have also found that Samal had a fixation for knives and used to carry at least two of them whenever he went out of home. He had also purchased a few American Army knives from an online shopping site. During a parent-teacher meeting at a school where Samal’s daughters study, he had wielded a knife and threatened some of the school authorities.
On Tuesday, police had recovered six knives from his possession of which three were used in the attack. He had also changed his clothes which he brought in a bag after the killing spree ended.
Police will also examine Meher’s wife and mother, as well as deceased caretaker Prasant Behera’s wife Runu Behera, who is undergoing treatment.