Hazaribagh, Sept. 6: A chawal-chapatti dispute prompted a Class IX student to fatally injure his 13-year-old younger brother with a potato peeler in Barkagaon block, 53km from Hazaribagh town, on Sunday.
The murder, committed in a fit of unbridled rage, came to light on Wednesday when the 15-year-old succumbed to police interrogation and forensic proof, and made a confessional statement. The boy, a resident of Harli village and student of Rajya Samposhit Uchcha Vidyalaya, has been sent to a correctional facility.
The alarming incident of juvenile delinquency took place of September 2.
The two brothers were put in charge of cooking, while their farmer father took their mother to the weekly haat (market). According to the statement made by the accused to Barkagaon police, he wanted to make roti (chapatti) for lunch after their parents left, but his brother — a Class V student of Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya — insisted on having chawal (rice).
“This led to a heated argument between the two. The accused attacked his brother with a potato peeler,” said Barkagaon officer in charge Dewesh Kumar Bhagat.
“The peeler pierced the boy’s neck. Panicky, his brother first pulled it out, but when the victim started bleeding profusely, he inserted the kitchen tool again and fled. In order to cover up what he had done, the teenager locked their house and threw the key in a bush,” the officer added.
When their parents returned, they could not find the keys. Seeing their eldest son playing outside, they asked him why the door was locked. He feigned ignorance. Later, he pretended to have found the key in the bush. When the farmer opened the door, his youngest son was lying lifeless, soaked in blood.
Unaware of what had actually happened, family members and local villagers lodged vehement protests, prompting the police to swing into action.
A five-member forensic team from the town and a sniffer dog was pressed into service. Police examined all angles — from involvement of local criminals to possible family enmity that might have triggered the attack on the child. They found nothing until forensic experts came to their rescue.
“There was blood on the shirt and fingernails of the accused. Initially, he had claimed of staining his shirt while holding his brother’s body and mourning his death. The story changed later. We found fingerprints on the peeler and scratches on the face of the accused, which suggested a scuffle,” OC Bhagat said.
“Following interrogation, the boy admitted to killing his brother accidentally and in a fit of rage,” he added.
Relatives and neighbours expressed surprise and shock over the incident. “Both boys were shy and soft-spoken. What happened is beyond imagination and very unfortunate,” a next door neighbour said.