At least five members of the family of a retired Army doctor, Dr Sukanto Sarkar, were found dead inside a relative’s flat here. The condition of the Army doctor, who reportedly stabbed himself several times, is critical, said police. They added that prima facie it seemed to be a case of a suicide pact between the family members, who feared that Sarkar’s daughter-in-law would file fake “cases of dowry harassment” against them.
The deceased included Sarkar’s wife, Anjana, his son, Sameer, and Sameer’s daughter, Samita Sarkar (7). Apart from them, wife of Sarkar’s nephew, Momita, who was in her late thirties, and Momita’s daughter, Sumita, were found dead.
Sameer had been fighting his wife over the custody of their seven-year-old daughter.
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Police said that the family was staying in a flat in Kokar area, which is owned by their relative, Dr S Chaudhary. They had come from Noida to Ranchi a couple of days ago.
The incident came to light when Dr Chaudhary called up the family around noon, but nobody picked up the call. He reached the flat and opened the door using a duplicate key. Finding five bodies and Dr Sarkar still breathing, he informed the police.
“Four bodies — that of Anjana, Momita and Samita and Sumita —were found on one bed in a room, while that of Sameer was found on a bed in another room. In the same room, there were blood stains on another bed where Sarkar was found,” said police.
Police have recovered suicide notes containing two to three lines, written separately by the victims. The notes were purportedly written by all the five deceased and also by Sarkar.
“All of them have similar messages saying that the torture and mental harassment being faced by them had become too much to bear and, therefore, they had decided to end their lives,” said City SP Kaushal Kishore.