Cops say killers ate tea planterís flesh before setting house afire

The culprits who had killed a tea planter and his wife in Upper Assam last Wednesday, first hacked him to death and then reportedly consumed his flesh before setting the house on fire to make it look like an incident of mob violence, the police said on Monday. The police are also investigating the possibility of the involvement of Left-wing activists in the incident.

Tinsukia superintendent of police P P Singh said while the police had arrested three persons, including one Santosh Dhan, the three have confessed that they first murdered Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya and then set his bungalow on fire. "We have recorded their statements under Section 164 of the IPC, during which they also claimed that they even consumed some portion of Bhattacharyya's flesh before killing his wife Reeta and then setting the bungalow ablaze," Singh said.

"Santosh Dhan, one of the prime accused, has confessed during interrogation that there were about 15 persons involved in the murder of Bhattacharyya inside his bungalow. He claimed that some of them even consumed his flesh. After that they also killed Bhattacharyya's wife Reeta and then set the bungalow on fire to make it look as if the couple had died in a mob frenzy," the SP told The Indian Express over the telephone.

The SP said the mob of about 700 people who had gathered while the bungalow was attacked and set on fire were not even aware that the main gang of the culprits had already murdered the couple inside. "The mob was organised to give an impression that the couple died of burn injuries when the bungalow was set ablaze," he said.

"It was not a mob killing, but now looks like a well laid out conspiracy by a group of 15 persons. What the exact motive was however is yet to be ascertained. The arrested persons have been trying to give an impression that they were fed up with the alleged arrogance and tough attitude of Bhattacharyya, but that does not seem to be the only motive," Singh said.

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