Police hunt for clues in Murshidabad triple murder case as parties trade barbs
A 35-year-old schoolteacher, his pregnant wife, and their son were found dead with stab wounds at their home at Jiaganj in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district on Tuesday, police said.
Additional police superintendent Tanmay Sarkar, who is supervising the probe into the case, said that the murders could be linked to a loan Prakash Pal, the teacher, had taken or a possible dispute between the couple.
“...Prakash Pal had borrowed a good amount of money from some persons at Barala area... [in Murshidabad district], where he was a primary school teacher. But later Pal shifted [around two years back] to Jiaganj [around 20 km away] without repaying the money,” said Sarkar, without specifying the amount of money he had borrowed.
Sarkar said that they found a note by Pal’s wife, Beauty, 28, that indicates the dispute. “We have come to know that there was some dispute between Prakash Pal and his wife. We have found the note... which proves it. We have also found a diary in the house. We have sent the note and the diary to handwriting experts to determine whether the handwriting was that of Beauty,” added Sarkar.
He added that their six-year-old son was strangled with a towel and that Beauty was eight months pregnant.
Investigators said that they were yet to make any arrests in the case and their investigation has indicated that a lone killer may have murdered the three.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Murshidabad (South) organisational district vice president, Humayun Kabir, said that Pal’s family members are supporters of his party and the teacher was a member of its ideological fountainhead, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “However, we do not think that he was killed for his affiliation,” he said.
Sarkar said that they, too, did not find any political link to the murders.
BJP’s state unit chief, Dilip Ghosh, said they want a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the murders. “There is no law and order in the state. The police are busy only harassing BJP workers,” said Ghosh.
West Bengal governor, Jagdeep Dhankhar, said the triple murder reflects the state’s law and order situation and added that he has sought a report on the killings. “I call upon the law enforcement agencies to pursue the culprits and bring them to book,” he said.
Reacting to governor Dhankhar’s statement, TMC general secretary and state minister Partha Chatterjee said, “Why is misinformation being spread about a family dispute? Is this a strategy to divert attention from what is happening in Bihar, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh and the infighting in the BJP? The governor should not cross his constitutional limits. We know what his intentions are. People have faith on those who are responsible for maintaining law and order in the state. The governor’s political comments are intentional. I have observed him making such statements on three occasions. This does not befit his position.”
Shikshak Aikya Mukta Mancha, an organisation of teachers, on Thursday staged a sit-in in front of Jiaganj police station over the police’s failure to arrest those involved in the murders. A candlelit march was also held to press for an early arrest of the culprits. The three were cremated on Thursday morning.