| Police outside the house of Gopal Sharan Singh in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Patna, Dec. 15: The wife of a retired state government employee and their two teenaged daughters were found bludgeoned to death at their Indrapuri residence in the Patliputra area this morning.
The bodies of Aneela Singh (50), Sonali (17) and Poornima (13) were spotted in a pool of blood in two rooms of their single-storey house by one of their neighbours. Aneela’s husband, Gopal Sharan Singh (65), was away in New Delhi, police said, adding that he might have gone to the national capital a few days ago.
“We have contacted him, but he has not given concrete answers to some of our questions. We have asked him to return to Patna at the earliest. He seems to be shocked and confused. Many things will become clear once he arrives,” Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amrit Raj told The Telegraph.
The victims’ neighbours said Sonali was a second-year student of history at Magadh Mahila College, while Poornima was a Class VI student at a government school. “Sharan has two sons from his first marriage and they work in New Delhi. We know that he had gone to Delhi to meet them. But we don’t know what happened thereafter. We were shocked to know that Aneela and her two daughters were murdered in such a gruesome way,” a neighbour said on condition of anonymity.
A police team rushed to the victims’ house soon after one of their neighbours spotted the bodies and raised an alarm. The police said they were yet to ascertain the number of assailants, but added there was no prima facie sign of any forceful entry into the house.
“Sharan had married Aneela after his first wife died nearly two decades ago. Forensic teams have been rushed to the spot and they are gathering evidence. A dog squad has also been pressed into service. We have spoken with many neighbours of the victims. Right now, we are not in a position to say anything concrete,” an officer said.
He added that the house has two doors — one in the front and another at the rear. “Though the front door of the house was closed, the other one was open. But there was no evidence of any forced entry by the criminals into the house. Aneela’s body was found in one room, while the bodies of her two daughters were found in another,” the officer said.
The police quoted Sharan’s statement over the phone as saying that he called up Aneela repeatedly last evening, but she did not take the call. “Sharan called up one of his neighbours, Jogender, this morning and asked him to contact his wife. Jogender went to Sharan’s house and repeatedly knocked on the front door around 9am. But there was no response. Then he went around the house and found the other door open ajar. On entering the house, he spotted the battered bodies. The three victims had suffered grievous injuries on their heads. They were killed in the most brutal way possible. It’s strange that the neighbours did not hear anybody scream. We are interrogating Jogender,” the officer said.
“We are not ruling out the possibility of a group of criminals entering the house and killing the three persons. It is also possible that the victims knew them. It appears that Aneela, Sonali and Poornima were killed by a heavy stone, or a heavy object. We think that the murder was committed out of sheer rage. But one thing is certain — it was a planned murder. There was no sign of any robbery in the house,” he added.
The police said the post-mortem report of the three persons was important to crack the case. “The bodies were not decomposed. It is possible that the three were killed recently. At this moment, nobody can say exactly when they were attacked,” another officer said. “We will have to find out whether they were drugged or not,” he added.