Alipurduar, Aug. 12: A murder committed over a month ago was solved when one of the two killers got drunk and boasted about the crime in front of the victim’s mother.
Biswanath Mahali was arrested yesterday for killing his brother-in-law Farj Mahali, 21, on the night of July 6 and burying the body. After interrogating him, police exhumed the body from Section 14 of Mechpara Tea Estate in the Kalchini police station area and sent it to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri for post-mortem.
Biswanath’s friend and co-accused, Kishore Lohar, is absconding.
Farj was a worker at the Mechpara estate while Biswanath, too, lives there. Kishore’s house is outside the garden.
The police action followed Biswanath’s “confession” on Friday night, when he went over to his in-law’s place in a drunken state and shouted in front of his mother-in-law, Pairo Mahali, that he and Kishore had killed her son.
Pairo then went to the Kalchini police station and lodged a complaint against the two.
“After receiving the complaint, we immediately arrested Biswanath, though Kishore has gone into hiding,” said Alipurduar subdivisional police officer Mitesh Jain. “Today, we forwarded the arrested man to the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate of Alipurduar.”
Biswanath has confessed to his crime, Jain added. He told the police that he is a carpenter by profession who doubles as a shaman. On July 6, he went to his in-laws’ place to treat Pairo, who had a sore back. After the “puja” got over around 9pm, Biswanath asked Farj to accompany him to the Mechpara jhora (stream) to perform some rituals. Kishore went with them.
On the way, an altercation reportedly broke out between the brothers-in-law. “Farj never showed me respect and that is what started it,” claimed Biswanath, when the police asked him about the quarrel.
During the course of it, Farj slapped Biswanath. The latter retaliated and, along with Kishore, began to beat up Farj with sticks. The 21-year-old died on the spot.
Biswanath and Kishore then buried the body and went home. When Farj did not return, his family members asked Biswanath about his whereabouts. But when Biswanath feigned ignorance, they did not suspect him. Instead, they went to the police and filed a missing person’s diary.
There was no further trace of Farj till the drunken outburst from Biswanath.
While the arrested man has said the crime was committed in the heat of the moment, the police are trying to find out if was a premeditated murder.