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Mom & son ‘burnt to death’ for money

Midnapore, Nov. 15: A 28-year-old homemaker and her five-year-old son in West Midnapore were burnt to death allegedly by her in-laws after she refused to ask for Rs 1 lakh from her father so that her husband could set up a jewellery shop.

The charred body of Santohi Das was found in a room in her husband’s house in Birsinghapur village. Her son Soumen, who suffered 70 per cent burns, died in hospital.

Santoshi’s parents in-law, two sisters in-law and a brother in-law have been arrested. Santoshi’s husband Kamal works as a goldsmith in Hyderabad.

Santoshi’s elder brother Amar Das, a farmer in Fatehpur, 5km from Birsinghapur, alleged in an FIR that her sisters-in-law were creating pressure on her to get Rs 1 lakh from her father so that Kamal could set up a jewellery shop in the area.

“We told them that we could not give them so much money. We are poor farmers and only have a one-acre plot. But my sister’s in-laws remained adamant,” Amar said.

Amar said that around 1am today, he received a phone call from his sister’s brother in-law. “He told me my sister had set herself ablaze. He said Soumen had also suffered burn injuries. I rushed to Birsinghapur,” Amar said.

“Soumen was killed because he had witnessed the murder,” he added.

The five arrested persons have been remanded in 14 days’ police custody.