RIMS in Ranchi where the autopsy was done on Sunday
The suburbs of capital Ranchi woke up to the shock of triple murder on Sunday.
A 20-year-old unemployed man, allegedly an alcoholic, hacked his father, stepmother and five-year-old stepbrother to death apparently after being refused money to buy liquor. He spared his eight-year-old stepsister her life because he needed a hand to dispose of the bodies.
Nitesh Sahu butchered his victims — vegetable vendor father Shivnandan (45), stepmother Kunti Devi (30) and stepbrother Raghu — with a tangi (a sharp traditional weapon) at their Lahna village home in Ratu police station, some 20km from the district headquarters, in the small hours of Sunday.
While the accused is absconding, police have found the murder weapon with help from Nitesh’s stepsister Nikki.
According to what the eight-year-old told police, the youth had a heated argument with his parents on Saturday evening. After the couple retired for the night, he crept into their room with the tangi between 1.30am and 2am, and hacked them to death.
“Little Raghu fell victim, but Nikki who witnessed the gory attack begged for her life and promised not to speak to anyone about it. Nitesh spared her on the condition that she would help him put away the bodies,” said a police source.
Leelavati Devi, the next door neighbour of the Sahus, said she sensed something wrong early in the morning because she heard a child crying without stop. “Later, I learnt it was Nikki. Poor child, she must have been in shock,” the woman recalled.
Leelavati woke her husband and a few others up. They found Nitesh loading something heavy onto a rickshaw. As soon as they hollered at him, the youth pushed the rickshaw inside the courtyard of his house and fled the scene.
By the time neighbours discovered the body blow, Nitesh had disappeared from the village. Police were informed and the bodies sent to RIMS in the capital for post-mortem.
Ratu police station in-charge G.K. Ambasth conceded that Nitesh was still at large.
“It is an open and shut murder case. Nitesh Sahu’s stepsister is in deep shock, so we will question her further later. Neighbours too were part witness to the crime. We are hunting for the accused who is learnt to be addicted to liquor,” Ambasth said.
Residents said Shivnandan was a poor vendor with not much land and property. “Nitesh is jobless and addicted to liquor. He was in bad company too,” one of them said.
Ambasth said the exact reason behind the murders was yet to be known. “But, given Nitesh’s bad habits and relationship with his parents who wanted him to earn, we won’t be surprised if the killings happened for money,” he added.