Ravi Bhoya, a cook working for a police officer, was stabbed to death by his roommate in Tardeo, after he accused the latter of stealing money from his bag.
The accused Ripu Das (24) fled after the incident on Monday morning to avoid arrest, said the police.
The other roommates of the duo rushed Bhoya (30) to Nair Hospital but he was declared dead on arrival.
The accused and the victim belonged to the same village in Orissa and had been staying together as tenants in a room at the Gujarati Mandal in Tulsiwadi since the past few years. They paid Rs 4,000 as rent and shared the room with four others.
“Das hails from Orissa and has been doing odd jobs in the city to sustain himself and to pay the rent,” said Ramesh Gadade, senior police inspector of the Tardeo police station.
Gadade said a few months ago Bhoya found some money from his baggage was missing and accused Das of stealing it.
When Bhoya confronted Das, he denied the theft that led to an argument between the two. The other roommates resolved the argument but Das was infuriated.
A few days after the fight, Das left for his village and Bhoya went to the police and lodged a complaint against him.
On Sunday evening, when Das returned from his village and Bhoya returned from work, he again accused him of theft, reigniting the argument.
“At 3.45 am on Monday, while everyone was asleep, Das went over to Bhoya who was sleeping and using a sharp object, stabbed him all over his body at least seven times. When Bhoya started screaming for help, the other tenants woke up. Das fled the spot taking the weapon with him,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity for lack of authorisation to talk to the media.
The Tardeo police have registered a case of murder against Das and are conducting inquiries to trace him.
“When we started questioning the other roommates about the attack, we learnt that Das is a short tempered man who would often lose his temper on petty issues and abuse people. He was involved in many scuffles in the neighbourhood over minor disagreements,” added the police officer.