Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday claimed a parrot helped them crack a five-day-old murder case.
Neelam Sharma, a homemaker and wife of the editor of a local Hindi newspaper, Vijay Sharma, was found murdered at her home on the night of February 20 in Balkeshwar locality of Agra.
The deceased was alone at home as Vijay and their children had gone to attend a wedding in Firozabad.
Initially, a milk seller who had mediated a land deal between Vijay and a buyer was a suspect, but his interrogation provided no clue about the crime.
The family members, however, got suspicious after noticing a change in the behavior of the pet parrot Heera.
"Heera sulked whenever somebody would call Ashutosh's name," said Ajay Sharma, Vijay's brother. Ashutosh is Vijay's nephew.
The accused had not stopped visiting the family after the murder and being a close relative, nobody suspected him.
He was arrested along with his landlord's son on Tuesday on charges of robbery and murder. He had forced Neelam to handover valuables at the point of a dagger and then killed her, fearing she would reveal his identity.
Agra senior superintendent of police Shalabh Mathur said, "We got a lot of help from the parrot to zero in on the murderer."
The police said Ashutosh was also not able to explain satisfactorily the injury mark on his arm. An examination later revealed that it was a dog bite.
The accused had also stabbed the family's pet dog Tuffy to death during the crime.