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Death penalty to three of a family upheld

By Our Special Correspondent

KOLKATA, MARCH 4. A Division Bench of the Kolkata High Court today upheld the capital punishment awarded to three members of a family and sentenced a fourth one to life imprisonment for a murder that took place 11 years ago.

The Division Bench, comprising Justice Alok Kumar Basu and Justice Pranab Kumar De, upheld the ruling of a trial court that awarded the capital punishment in August 2003.

On January 22, 1994, Aloknath Dutta, a former Kolkata police constable, strangulated his elder brother Biswanath and interred the body in a wall. His two brothers-in-law, Shibshankar Ray and Mrinal Dutta, married to sister-in-law and sister respectively, were Aloknath's accomplices.

"It was a rarest of rare crime, committed in cold blood by a set of avaricious people, displaying unprecedented cruelty," the Division Bench said.

Aloknath, his wife, Mamata, and the others conspired to kill Biswanath to take possession of the family home in North Kolkata, sell it and take the proceeds.

The murder came to light when a businessman, after making an advance payment for the house, took out an advertisement in the papers, in accordance with law. Aloknath's two other brothers Amar and Samar, who stayed away from Kolkata in Baranagar and Chandannagar, rushed home, after they saw the advertisement.

Mrinal Dutta had signed the sale deed posing as Biswanath and collected Rs. 2 lakhs in advance. The brothers suspected foul play and pressed Aloknath to tell them the truth. Aloknath told them how they killed Biswanath and interred the body in a cupboard and converted the room into a kitchen.

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