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Property tiff whiff in mother’s death

Siliguri, March 10: A 75-year-old widow was found murdered at her residence in Jalpaiguri last night. One of her sons and his wife have been detained.

A mother of four sons, Pramila Banik used to stay on the ground floor of her two-storied house in Deshbandhunagar. Her third son Bhuban, a collection agent for a bank, lives with his family on the first floor. The second son Sudhir, who works in a bank, lives in a rented house across the road. Her other two children stay in their workplaces elsewhere.

Pramila was last seen in the evening speaking to some of her neighbours. “Around 9pm, we heard her whimpering and called Bhuban for help. All of us entered her room from the rear and found her lying on bed,” said Illa Bhattacharya, a neighbour. “Blood was oozing out from her ear, and one of her earrings had been ripped off and found on the floor. There were blood stains on the bathroom also.”

The neighbours informed police. Bhuban and Sudhir took her to a nursing home and then to Jalpaiguri District Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead. Officers from Kotwali police station reached the spot with a sniffer dog.

“We suspect that she was murdered and died of suffocation, as in such cases, blood comes out of the ear. The way an earring has been ripped off is a key proof to the murder,” an investigator said. “The property was in the name of the old woman which may be the motive behind the murder.”

The police officers summoned the woman’s sons their families and neighbours and asked them to stand in a queue. As the sniffer dog was unleashed, it sniffed everybody but jumped into Tapashi, Bhuban’s wife — prompting the investigators to question Pramila’s family members. Later Tapashi and Bhuban have been detained.

“Investigation has started. No one has been arrested so far. We have sent the body for post-mortem and expert opinion,” said Jalpaiguri district police chief Anand Kumar.

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