An earlier photograph of Laxmi Devi. (Pankaj Singh)
The wife of a retired Bokaro Steel employee was stabbed to death in their quarters in Sector XII of the steel city on Monday afternoon.
The body of Laxmi Devi (61) was discovered late in the evening after which police probe led to the arrest of a distant relative who owed the couple Rs 20,000.
According to police, Upendra Nath Tewary left home for the bank around noon, while Laxmi Devi waited for relative Pankaj Kumar (30) who had promised to return the money he had borrowed four months ago by Monday.
Pankaj did turn up at the Tewary household, but with an intention most foul.
As Laxmi Devi sat alone, he overpowered and gagged the helpless elderly woman with a handkerchief, stabbed her several times in the abdomen and left her to die by locking the door from outside.
Upendra Nath returned late in the afternoon to find his quarters locked. He thought Laxmi Devi had gone out marketing and went to chat up a friend.
He returned around 9pm to find the door still locked. With the help of neighbours, he searched for his wife before someone decided to break open a window and look inside. Laxmi Devi was there, lying in a pool of blood.
Police were informed and inquiries revealed that the woman had a quarrel with Pankaj over the loan a few days ago. Besides, some neighbours saw the youth loitering near the Tewary home around noon.
Pankaj was arrested from his house in the same sector around midnight on Monday.
Bokaro DSP Sahdeo Sao said that during interrogation, he confessed to killing Laxmi Devi because she was pestering him to return the money he had borrowed.
The couple’s two sons — both software engineers, one working in Delhi and another in Mumbai — have been informed, police said.