The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Boy's brush with killer father

Calcutta, April 15: Soumyajit Dawn stitched together the moments of his five-year-old sister's murder at the hands of his father Somnath, a day after identifying her body in Rajgir.

'First I heard my sister crying and screaming. After a few seconds, I heard her groaning in pain. When I walked towards the direction from where her groans were coming, they stopped and absolute silence followed. I saw my father climbing up the hill from behind a bush,' the 13-year-old boy told police.

Somnath, who bumped off his daughter Shomasree and had tried to push the siblings off a train on the way to Rajgir, was caught living with his 19-year-old student in Mayapur.

After arresting Somnath for abducting his student, a police team left for Rajgir on Tuesday night with Soumyajit.

'When I asked my father where my sister was, he told me 'tomake o-shob niye bhabte hobey na, bon thik achhey (You don't have to worry about all that, your sister is okay)'. I didn't ask him anything else. Had I asked, he would have beaten me up,' Soumyajit told the police officers in Rajgir.

He identified the hill from where Shomasree was pushed off and the police recovered the body, lying between two huge rocks. Soumyajit identified his sister from her clothes, said officers here.

'After the police team returns to the city tomorrow, we will send the body for post-mortem,' said Barun Mallik, the deputy commissioner, north.

Somnath, 52, a private tutor, left his Jorabagan house for Rajgir on March 7 with his two children and the student.

After killing his daughter, the teacher returned to Calcutta and left Soumyajit in front his house, saying he would be back in half-an-hour. He then went straight to Mayapur with his student and rented a house there pretending to be husband and wife.

The police swung into action after receiving a complaint from the girl's mother.

Somnath was picked up along with the girl on Sunday when they were taking a stroll near the Iskcon (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple.

Initially, Soumyajit failed to provide leads to the police as he spoke incoherently.

'Rajgir is surrounded by six hills. Soumyajit easily identified the one that he had climbed up with his father and sister. He pointed out the exact place from where his father disappeared behind a rock moments after asking him and the teenaged girl to wait for a few minutes,' said an officer of the Jorabagan police station.

'With the help of the local police, a search was carried out for the child. It did not take too long. The policemen smelt the stench of a decomposed body,' said the officer.

Soumyajit told the police that on the second day of their trip to Rajgir, his father had asked him to make a trek to a hilltop Jain temple.

'Despite having no inclination to go there, I did not protest. Whenever I opposed my father, he beat me up mercilessly,' Soumyajit said.

'There was a staircase carved out of stone from the base of the hill to the temple. We were climbing up the hill. Suddenly, my father asked me to wait and went towards another direction. I could not see him anymore because of a big rock. After a few minutes, I heard Shomasree's screams.'

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