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The murder of five girls, aged between 10 and 17 years, in a Gaya village on Thursday has puzzled police, who are now investigating all angles in the case, including the possible role of family members. The incident took place at Sonas village under Khijarsarai, 10 km from the district town.
Although the parents of the slain girls — of a joint family — told police that the recent purchase of 33 decimal land, also eyed by two other villagers, could be reason behind the killings, they were hard put to convince the investigators why no elder man or woman member of the family and six male siblings of the victims was sleeping at home on the night of the incident. All five bodies were found in separate rooms.
The girls were identified as Julie (16), Sweetie (15), Manisha (15), Reshma (11) and Ameesha (10) — school-going daughters of brothers Shashi Bhushan Singh, Bharat Bhu-shan Singh and Bipin Singh. The upper caste Rajput family depended on agriculture and money-lending.
Though the autopsy report is awaited, police said the bodies had bullet and other injuries. Although they registered an FIR against two villagers and arrested one of them on the statement of Bipin Singh, police said there were many loose ends in the case and all family members needed to be thoroughly questioned.
Bipin Singh told police he had recently purchased 33 decimal land from a fellow villager Shambhu Singh. "Two other villagers, Anand Kumar Singh and Navin Singh, also eyed the property and had threatened me with dire consequences for purchasing the land. Shambhu Singh's wife Chanchala, who was provoked by the two, had also lodged a complaint against me with sub-divisional officer alleging that she was forced to sell the land to me," Bipin Singh told police. Anant has been arrested.