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Ranchi family death: Friend mentioned in suicide note was held last week for fraud

Seven members, including two children, of a family were found dead in their rented house on the outskirts of Jharkhand’s Ranchi on Monday

india Updated: Aug 01, 2018 14:16 IST
Manish Raj
Manish Raj
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Ranchi family death,Ranchi,Crime
Policemen and residents stand outside the entrance door of a building were seven members of a family were found hanging, in Ranchi on July 30, 2018.(AFP)

Deepak Jha, 40, and Rupesh Jha, 39, are suspected to have killed their father Shashi Kumar Jha, 65, mother Gayitri Devi, 60, Deepak’s wife Soni Jha, 38, and their children Jagu, 1, and Drishti, 6, said Amol V Homkar, deputy inspector general of police, Ranchi Range. Rupesh was not married.

The bodies of the five family members, barring the two brothers, were found lying on the floor covered with bedsheets. The hands of Deepak Jha’s wife were tied and there were also injury marks on her body, said a police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The officer said details of how the five other family members were killed will be known only once the post-mortem reports are ready.

The brothers hanged themselves after committing the murders, theorise the police, who suspect that financial troubles may have caused the two brothers into the murder-suicide pact. In a suicide note he left behind, Deepak Jha mentioend a debt of R25 lakh he had incurred because of an illness that befell his son. The note also named 15 persons from whom he had borrowed money, police officers said.

The bodies were discovered on Monday in their rented house in an incident reminiscent of the suicide pact in New Delhi’s Burari in which 11 members of a family were found dead on July 1.

Meanwhile, it has come to light that Kislaya Mishra, whose name was mentioned in the suicide notes left behind by the dead brothers, was arrested last week in a case of fraud filed by the owner of a furniture shop on Ranchi’s Mahatma Gandhi road where he was employed, along with Deepak, the police said.

Suman Kumar Sinha , officer in-charge of Lower Bazaar police station, said: “We arrested Kislaya from Kolkata on Friday. No other charges have been invoked against him till now.”

When asked whether the police could book Mishra for abetment to suicide, Ranchi superintendent of police (rural) Ajit Peter Dungdung said, “It is not necessary that he would also be charged in the suicide case. Investigations are still on.”

Police officers on condition of anonymity said both Deepak and Rupesh, in their suicide notes, had mentioned the ‘friendship’ of Deepak and Kislaya and some financial wrongdoings that involved duping customers of the furniture store.

The Ranchi police registered the first information report (FIR) of murder and suicide under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after the post mortem was conducted at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences. “The FIR has been lodged under section 302 (murder) and 309 (suicide) of the IPC,” said SP Dungdung.

“The report is with the medical board which will be revealed in around a week. Till the time we can safely say that two people hanged themselves, and the rest were killed,” he added.

Meanwhile, with the entire family across three generations dead, the police summoned Deepak’s father-in-law to claim the bodies.

The only direct surviving member of the family, Deepak’s sister, was apparently not in touch with the family after her inter-caste marriage.

A neighbour told HT on Tuesday that the daughter, Sandhya Jha, married a non-Brahmin so the family had stopped talking to her for the last four-five years although she lived in Ranchi.

Deepak’s landlady said the family was under financial duress and they had not paid rent of R5,000 for the past few months. “Ever since they shifted in January, I received only R10,000 as rent,” she added.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 20:32 IST