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(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of violence. Reader discretion advised.)
A 32-year-old gym instructor in Assam's Guwahati allegedly murdered her mother-in-law and her husband separately in the months of July and August last year, said Guwahati Police on Monday, 20 February 2023.
What happened? The accused, Bandana Kalita, allegedly committed the crime with the help of two male accomplices, Dhanti Deka, a taxi driver, and Arup Deka, a vegetable seller. They reportedly chopped up the bodies of the deceased and dumped them in the hills of neighbouring Meghalaya.
Bandana then filed a missing complaint with Noonmati Police Station on 29 August last year, to mislead the police. The investigation, however, led to the arrest of Bandana and her associates recently, Guwahati Police Commissioner Diganta Barah told reporters on Monday.
Details: Interrogation of the accused revealed that Bandana allegedly killed her mother-in-law, Shankari Dey, 62, at her house in the city's Chandmari area on the evening of 26 July last year, with the help of Arup.
"They first suffocated Shankari with a pillow and when she became unconscious, they severed her head with a machete and a rolling pin. They confessed that they cut the body into three pieces, put those into a polythene bag brought by Dhanti and covered them with a blanket. In the wee hours of the next day, they put the body parts into Dhanti's taxi (a Hyundai Accent) and drove to Meghalaya."Diganta Barah, Guwahati Police Commissioner, according to Deccan Herald
And then? The police said she then allegedly killed her husband Amarjyoti Dey at his house in the Narengi area and chopped his body into pieces on the night of 17 August last year.
"They packed the body parts and dumped those in jungles in an area between Shillong-Dawki road," CP Barah said. While some body parts have been recovered along the Shillong-Cherrapunjee area, searches are underway to find the rest.
What's the motive? CP Barah said they were yet to ascertain the motive of the crime, though the probe suggested that Bandana's relationship with her husband and mother-in-law was strained.
"Investigation suggests Amarjyoti used to take drugs and this led to some conflict between them. But our investigation is on to reveal the real motive of the gruesome crimes."
How did police catch Bandana and accomplices? A few months after Bandana lodged a missing persons complaint, Shankari's nephew Nirmalya Dey lodged a complaint alleging that money was being withdrawn from his aunt's bank accounts by using her ATM cards.
Early this year, both Bandana and Nirmalya separately approached the police, complaining that the probe was being delayed. But as both their versions did not match, the police arrested Bandana, and subsequently caught her accomplices based on her statements.
(With inputs from Deccan Herald.)