The West Bengal Police on Tuesday claimed to have solved the Murshidabad triple murder case with the arrest of a 20-year-old man, reported PTI. Utpal Behara, the accused, had allegedly killed school teacher Bandhu Prakash Pal, his pregnant wife Beauty and their five-year-old son Angan on October 8 over non-payment of an insurance policy premium.

Behara was Pal’s former neighbour, said the police. He will be produced in court on Tuesday, and the police will seek 14-day custody.

The accused told police that Pal had duped him. “Utpal got into an 11-year term policy through Bandhu Prakash where the yearly premium was Rs 24,167,” Murshidabad Superintendent of Police Mukesh Kumar told The Indian Express. “According to the accused, while he got the receipt for the first year, Pal did not give him the receipt for the second year even after he paid the premium. When he asked Pal to return his money, Bandhu Prakash abused him and he felt insulted.”

“That is why he decided to kill him,” the police officer. “Pal’s wife and son were killed because they knew Utpal and could have identified him.”

Behara, who works as a mason in East Midnapore district, visited his sister’s home in Jiaganj – where the murders took place – during Durga Puja. According to the police, he had brought the murder weapon with him. “On Dashami, around 10.30 pm, Utpal called up Bandhu Prakash and said that he wanted to visit his home,” said Kumar. “Bandhu Prakash gave him directions. Utpal was welcomed inside since everyone in the family knew him. He immediately attacked Bandhu Prakash and killed him on the spot.” Kumar said Utpal Behara then went to the next room and attacked Prakash’s pregnant wife and son.

The police said Behara’s phone location helped them nab him. However, the police’s first clue about Behara’s involvement was his bank passbook, which they recovered from near Pal’s body. “It seems that after committing the crime, his passbook accidentally fell to the ground,” an unidentified officer told News18. “Some valuable items are missing from the house. Further investigation is on.”

The triple murders had triggered a major political row between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The saffron party had claimed that Pal was a functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The state unit of the BJP had sought an appointment with Union minister Amit Shah and President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday to brief them about the deteriorating law and order situation in West Bengal, reported News18.

Pal’s family has, however, denied the claim. “It is absolutely wrong to say he was associated with a political organisation or RSS,” Pal’s brother-in-law Diptiman Sarkar said. “It is unfortunate that people are politicising the matter.”

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