The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Guest prime suspect in murder of host family

Guwahati, Oct. 2: A family of four was today found murdered in a village in Golaghat district of Assam, allegedly by the very man they had been hosting for a few weeks.

Police said Babul Deka, his wife Anju and their two children — Nayanjyoti, 8, and Bhonti, 4 — were hacked to death in their sleep in their house at Pub Balipathar village near Nawjan. Babul’s friend Makhan Das, a resident of the nearby Adarsha village, was arrested on the basis of prima facie evidence of his involvement in the murders.

Makhan, who owns a small grocery shop in the village, had been staying with the Dekas since being estranged from his father. He recently sold a second-hand television to his host for Rs 1,500, taking Rs 1,300 as advance.

Investigators discovered that Makhan threatened to kill his host’s son a few days ago if he did not pay the remaining Rs 300 soon.

The officer-in-charge of Sarupathar police station, Rohini Changmai, said neighbours of the Dekas were “almost sure” that their guest was the murderer. “Makhan threatened Babul in the presence of these neighbours. The fact that Makhan’s father had previously filed a complaint against his son at Nawjan police outpost over a family dispute marks him out as a man of dubious character.”

The bodies of Babul and his children were found on a bed and Anju’s was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. The police said the murders were committed last night.

“We found five used dishes, which suggest that Makhan had dinner in Babul’s house last night and probably also stayed there,” Changmai said.

Makhan was found hiding in the cavity between the roof and ceiling of his house at Adarsha village when a police team went there to arrest him.

The accused was based in Arunachal Pradesh for over seven years and returned to Nawjan only a few months ago. He brought with him the television that he later sold to Babul and a CD player.

Makhan told the police that he also stayed in Guwahati for several years, but it is not yet known what he used to do there.

“We need to ascertain what his source of livelihood in Arunachal Pradesh was. We are examining all possibilities. He might have been involved in other crimes,” Changmai said.

Makhan fell out with his family over a girl he had brought home on his return from Arunachal Pradesh. His family told the police that he was already married.

One of the investigators described the murders as “most brutal” with the killer having struck the victims several times with a sharp weapon. “It could be a machete,” the officer said. “We will use sniffer dogs, if necessary, tomorrow to carry forward the investigation.”

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