| Neighbours gather outside Pradhan’s house in Salbari after the news of his murder spread in the area. A Telegraph picture
Siliguri, Oct. 11: A 69-year-old man was found murdered in his paddy field at Salbari in Siliguri subdivision early this morning.
The body of Ramji Lal Pradhan was found with a gamchhha tied round his face and the back of his head bore several injury marks. He had only a pair of checked shorts on.
While the Pradhannagar police failed to get any clue to the murder, the sniffer dogs of the Siliguri police also failed to pick up any trail.
After retiring as a technical staff from the post and telecom department 15 years ago, Pradhan reportedly used to stay all alone at his house on Church Road in Salbari, 7 km from here. His wife Ganga Devi, son Anil Kumar Pradhan, daughter-in-law and daughter stayed at Rajbari in Darjeeling.
Inspector-in-charge of Pradhannagar police station Tapan Alo Mitra said preliminary investigation showed that Pradhan was killed by someone, who was close to him and was invited to his place. Mitra said the murder was probably committed yesterday evening, since Pradhan had not had his dinner. Two boiled eggs and rice were reportedly found in the kitchen today.
Police said the main gate to his house was also found open. “It seems that someone came to his place yesterday evening and they had drinks together. He was probably murdered during that time,” Mitra said.
Not finding Pradhan in his room this morning, the milkman asked the neighbours about him and soon a search ensued, which ended in the nearby paddy field, a neighbour said. They immediately called the police.
His family arrived at Salbari in the afternoon. Anil, who had a shop in Darjeeling, said his father had returned from Darjeeling only four days ago.
The Siliguri additional superintendent of police said land related disputes could have been a reason behind the murder.