While the world welcomed the New Year on Wednesday night, a 19-year-old youth, Prantik Bandyopadhyay, in Hooghly district’s Uttarpara area, strangled his mother to death. He then kept the body at their home for two days and tried to cremate it on a pyre made of wooden construction equipment beneath the staircase of their apartment on Friday night. However, the attempt led to people finding out about his mother’s death.
It was at about 1 am on Saturday that the neighbours noticed smoke coming out of the residential complex and thought the building had caught fire. At 5 in the morning, after the fire had been put out, they found the woman’s charred body. They suspected the man had killed her because he stayed locked up inside the flat all the while when the locals and the firefighters were busy dousing the flames.
The youth was arrested on Saturday and taken into police custody. The body was sent for a post-mortem. Police sources said the man confessed his crime and said that he killed his mother, 44-year-old Rupali Bandyopadhyay, because he suspected his mother of having “illicit affairs”.
“During interrogation, the man said his mother’s relationship with some outsiders who used to visit their home frequently and party there caused him mental trauma. Unable to bear it any longer, he killed her,” an officer of Uttarpara police station said on the condition of anonymity.
The family lived on Criper road at Uttarpara. Prantik used to live alone with her mother, while his father would seldom visit them. Sources claimed the couple had a strained relationship and the mother had become financially dependent on those visitors who used to party at their place. Alcohol was regularly served at these parties and the boy was forced to remain a witness.
Locals said that he was forced to quit school after Class 6 and was hardly allowed to move out of the house or gel with others and hardly had friends. Unsupported versions also claimed that the boy’s father had returned home on December 31 but police failed to verify it because they have not been able to trace him yet.
“Circumstantial evidence gathered so far does not contradict the boy’s version. However, while he says he alone killed his mother, we are not ruling out any other possibility,” a police officer of Hooghly district said.