Eight days after the brutal murder of three members of a family in West Bengal’s Murshidabad, the police Tuesday arrested their former neighbour and claimed to have cracked the case that has snowballed into a major political row between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP. According to the police, Utpal Behara (20) killed Bandhuprakash Pal, his wife Beauty Pal and their five-year-old son Angan over monetary dispute related to an insurance policy.
Primary school teacher Pal (40), his wife and their son were found murdered at their home in Lebu Bagan area of Jiaganj on October 8.
Stating that Utpal had confessed to the crime, Mukesh Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad, said, “Utpal got into an 11-year term policy with yearly premium of Rs 24,167 through Pal. According to the accused, while he got the receipt for the first year, Pal did not give him the receipt for the second year even after he paid the premium. When he asked Pal to return his money, the latter abused. Utpal said he felt insulted and decided to kill him. Pal’s wife and son were killed as they knew Utpal and could have identified him.” The police will produce Utpal in court today and will seek 14-day custody.
According to police, Utpal also visited his sister’s home in Jiaganj – where the murder took place – to have an idea of the area where the victim lived. Utpal, who used to work as a mason in East Midnapore district, had come home for Durga Puja and had also brought the murder weapon with him.
“On Dashami, around 10.30 pm, Utpal called up Pal and stated that he wanted to visit his home. Utpal was welcomed inside since everyone in the family knew him. He immediately attacked Pal and killed him on the spot. He then went into the next room and attacked Prakash’s pregnant wife and son,” said Mukesh Kumar.
“We found his phone’s tower location at Jiaganj during the time of the murder. But he lied to us that he was in Sagardhi. During interrogation, he broke down and confessed to the crime,” added Kumar. He added that Utpal was wearing two sets of clothes and dumped the first set and the murder weapon near Pal’s house.
Meanwhile, Utpal’s father claimed that his son was innocent. “I do not believe that my son could do such a thing. I told him not to go for such monetary deals. But he did not listen to me,” said Madhab Behera, Utpal’s father.
According to the police, apart from working as a teacher, Pal was also involved in chain marketing companies, insurance companies and other businesses for a long time. The police will also take legal action against Pal’s partner Souvik Banik. According to police sources, Banik has a history of duping people after taking money from them in the name of business investments.
Ever since the murder came to light, the BJP is targeting the ruling TMC government in West Bengal claiming Pal was an RSS functionary. The family has, however, denied the claim. While Pal’s and his son’s body were found in one room, the wife’s body was found in another. Police sources said Pal and his wife were hacked to death by a sharp weapon, while their son was strangulated and his head hit with a heavy object. The post-mortem examination reports are awaited.