A DAY after two sisters were hacked to death in their sleep in Banthara’s Ratauli Khatola village on the outskirts of Lucknow, the police arrested the brother and four of his associates for planning and executing the killing over a property-related dispute.
Santosh Kumar Prajapati, unable to use his legs because of polio affliction, had engaged his brother-in-law Gyan Prakash and latter’s associates — Ramesh Yadav, Ravi Chauhan and Ram Sevak — to kill both his sisters who were demanding their share in the property and he feared his father, Ram Khilawan, would agree to it, Additional SP (East) Shiv Ram Yadav said.
The victims, Rekha (20) and Savita (18), had their throats slit around 2 am Tuesday when they were sleeping on the first floor of the house with their mother.
The ASP said the information provided by Santosh during initial questioning gave rise to suspicion about his involvement. “He told the police the assailants locked him inside the room (on the ground floor), and that he remained there for over 40 minutes after the crime. He did not make even one phone call to any neighbour asking for help even though he possesses two cell phones,” the officer said.
The ASP also informed that Gyan Prakash Prajapati, Santosh’s brother-in-law and a native of Unnao, had hired the three others on the promise that they would be paid Rs 70,000.
Giving details of the sequence of event from the night, Circle Officer, Krishna Nagar area, Rajesh Yadav said Gyan Prakash and the three contract killers reached the house in the early hours of Tuesday. “Santosh opened the main door and let them in. The four went to the first floor, overpowered the girls and hacked them to death with knives. They had already bolted the doors of Santosh’s room on the ground floor before going upstairs,” the CO said.
The accused ran away after Santosh’s mother Usha raised an alarm, the officer added.