Bhubaneswar, June 15: Simran Sahu had celebrated her fifth birthday on Friday. Little did she know that two days later her father Subodh Charan Sahu, 37, would hack her to death.
Subodh, who works in a Keonjhar hotel, went on a spree of violence with a machete grievously injuring three other members of the family, including his wife, at their rented house in Bhimtangi here. Subodh then tried to commit suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan. Police suspect family dispute to be behind the crime.
Sources said that Subodh went berserk with a machete around 9am following an altercation with wife Naveneeta, 35, and other family members.
While Simran died on the spot after her throat was slashed with the machete, Navaneeta, Subodh’s sister-in-law Ratnamani, 37, and niece Alibha, 15, were rushed to Capital hospital in critical condition. All the three have suffered multiple injuries.
They were later shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, but Subodh is being treated at the Capital hospital.
However, Subodh’s father Dukhishyam Sahu, 82, his elder brother Gobind, 40, and nephew Siba Prasad, 17, survived the attack. While his brother and father were not at home when the murderous assault took place, Siba Prasad was busy with studies on the terrace. Subodh had come home from Keonjhar four days ago to celebrate the birthday of Simran. This morning, he sent Dukhishyam to a nearby hospital to get treated for an ear problem. Soon after his father left, Subodh shut all the windows and main door of the house and went about attacking the family members in the house with a machete. The neighbours came to know about the incident when Alibha ran out of the house crying and bleeding profusely.
“As soon as we saw the girl crying for help, we rushed to the spot and found blood in all the rooms. Later, we saw Subodh hanging from the ceiling fan. We cut the rope and brought him down. Then we sent all of them to the hospital,” said Lingaraj Barik, a neighbour of Subodh.
Narrating the sequence of events, Navaneeta accused her sister-in-law Ratnamani of being behind the violence. “She was instigating my husband to drive me out of the home by casting aspersions on my character. The issue resurfaced today, provoking my husband to resort to violence,” Navaneeta said.
Ratnamani works as a warden in a ladies hostel at a private engineering college in Khurda. “I was on the terrace since the morning. Around 9am, I heard screams of my family members. Scared, I ran out of the house,” said Siba Prasad.
The police said that the accused previously used to work as an agent of a private bank in Bhubaneswar, but four months ago he had moved to Keonjhar as he lost this job.
“ He forced to me go to the Municipality Hospital as I had an ear problem. Later, my neighbours informed me about the incident,” said Dukhishyam, who hails from Keonjhar district.
The police said that the incident appeared to be the fallout of a dispute between the families of Subodh and his brother. “Subodh’s wife wanted him to live separately, something her husband was not willing to do. Tension over the issue had been simmering for the past sometime. A sudden provocation might have led to the crime. Investigation is on,” said police commissioner R.P Sharma. Though the family members suspect Subodh committed the crime under influence of intoxication, doctors said he might have consumed poison after murderous spree. The police said chemical tests would be conducted on Subodh to ascertain if he was under the influence of intoxicants.