Eight days after a schoolteacher, his pregnant wife and eight-year-old son were brutally killed in their home in West Bengal’s Murshidabad, the police on Tuesday arrested one Utpal Behara and have ruled out any political link to the case.
The murders were the result of a monitary dispute, the police said.
A primary school teacher, 35-year-old Bandhu Prakash Pal, his 30-year-old pregnant wife Beauty and their eight-year old son Angan were found murdered in their residence in Jiaganj, last week.
Following the murders, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had claimed that Bandhuprakash regularly attended Milan, a weekly programme of the RSS, for the past few months.
Later, it was clarified that he had only attended one meeting of the RSS.
Investigations by the police revealed that Utpal Behra felt he was duped by the victim Bandhuprakash Pal, who used to work as an insurance agent besides teaching in a primary school, after realising that the premiums that he had given to Pal were not deposited with the insurance agency.
Police investigations revealed that Bandhu was working as a part time insurance agent as well, besides teaching. Behra took an insurance policy from him and paid for two premiums. Later he realised that Pal duped him as the premiums were not deposited with the insurance agency.
“Although Pal gave a money receipt for the first policy, he did not give him the receipt for the second policy. For the last few weeks, Pal and Behra used to quarrel over this matter. Pal had even insulted him, following which Behra decided to kill him,” news agency PTI quoted a police officer as saying.
Bandhu used to lived near Utpal Behera’s house in Sahapur village before moving to Jiagunj. The family had moved to the area 18 months ago.
Last week this triple murder snowballed into a political row when a video of the bodies lying in blood was circulated on social media by many BJP leaders and supporters.
The West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar too joined the bandwagon and questioned the law and order situation in the state. “A teacher, his pregnant wife and eight-year-old child were killed in a barbaric manner and there has been no response from the state machinery so far. This is a very, very serious reflection of the situation we are living in. I would urge the authority for a quick and real investigation,” he said.
Union Minister Babul Suprio too joined the list of BJP leaders who condemned the incident. In a tweet, he said (in Hindi), “Where is Bengal heading? Mamata Banerjee for you Mother, Earth and people matter at all or not? Did we want this Bengal? Where we worship Maa durga and Maa Kaali and on the other hand a mother is killed with her child”.
The ruling Trinamool Congress’ state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee replied, “Why such canards are being spread about an incident in Murshidabad? We feel to cover up the infighting of the BJP.”
Before the Assembly elections in the state in 2021, both parties have aggressively targeted each other and accused each other of political violence.