Days after two teenagers were found murdered in their house, Birbhum Police arrested their maternal uncle late on Sunday.
Sushmita and Pushpita Sadhu were found with their throats slit on May 16 at their home in Mohammad Bazar police station area.
Police suspected that the girls were murdered over a family dispute regarding a lucrative piece of land bordering the highway in the same area.
In the first major breakthrough in the case that shocked the state, police arrested Ramprasad Saha on Sunday night. He was initially called in for interrogation on Saturday, during which, police found several inconsistencies in his statement.
In the course of the investigation, police recovered the murder weapon – a chopping tool used in most Bengali kitchen – from near 15-year-old Sushmita’s body. They also found a pair of shoes that belonged to Saha.
Upon further questioning, Saha spoke of the land dispute he had with his sister Aparna Sadhu, the mother of the girls, for a while now.
“The maternal uncle of victims, Ramprasad Saha, has been arrested in this case. He will be produced before the court today,” said Birbhum police superintendent, Mukesh Kumar.
“During the investigation we have got hints that a dispute over the property led Ramprasad to brutally finish off the two sisters,” police sources said.
Police earlier detained four others in connection with the case, including Aparna, her spiritual guru Sabita Mahara, and her two friends, Chandicharan Laha and Subal Mondal. They have not been released yet as police intend to interrogate them further for more information.
At the time of the murder, Aparna was at a local temple. When she returned at around 7:30 pm, she discovered 12-year-old Pushpita’s body on the bed and Sushmita on the staircase leading to the first floor.
The girls’ father, Debasish Sadhu, who works outside of the state, lodged a complaint two days later at Mohammad Bazar police station. Though he didn’t name any suspect, he hoped for a “proper investigation” and “extraordinary punishment” for the guilty.
Given the circumstances, police strongly suspected that the killer was known to the family and was familiar with the house as nothing was missing.
Police are now trying to determine whether Saha was acting alone or had accomplices.