A day after a 12-year-old boy ‘died by suicide’ in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, his family on Wednesday alleged he was beaten to death by their neighbour over suspicion of theft, police said.
Rajan’s brother Gangadhar said, “I had received a call late on Tuesday evening that my brother had died by suicide. I learnt later that he was thrashed by our neighbour. I strongly suspect that my brother was murdered, which is why I approached the police.”
According to police, Rajan Behera, the deceased, was friends with the son of the accused, Sasmita Behera. On Tuesday evening, Sasmita, who works as a contractual labourer, returned from work and found Rs 500 missing from her bag. Suspecting her son, she began reprimanding him, but he said he had seen Rajan playing near the bag when she was away.
Sasmita then went to Rajan’s house and thrashed him when he ‘refused to accept’ that he had stolen the money, police said.
Sasmita has been booked under IPC Section 302 (murder) at Karanjia police station. The police, however, are waiting for the post mortem report to ascertain the exact cause of death.
“The post mortem has been conducted and the reports are awaited. The woman has confessed she had beaten the child, but has denied that he died because of the thrashing. There were no external injury marks on his body. The exact cause of death is yet to be ascertained,” said Karanjia police station in-charge Inspector Sarojini Singh.
The accused is yet to be arrested.
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