In less than 24 hours, the Kolkata Police has cracked the case of the double murders in Chinatown and arrested Chinese-origin Li Wan Tho for brutally beating his wife and father to death.
Li Wan Tho, 62, apparently confessed that he had a bitter quarrel with his wife last evening as he was leaving home for dinner with friends.
His wife allegedly accused him of infidelity and taunted him about going out to dinner with one of his many girlfriends. He allegedly lost his temper, picked up a bucket lying nearby and viciously smashed his wife's face. When his 90-year-old father rushed to stop him, the accused allegedly attacked him with the bucket.
"Both the father and the wife had fatal injuries on the face," said Kolkata Police Joint Commissioner (Crime). A local resident who saw the woman's body said the "face had been reduced to paste".
Yesterday around 9pm police received a call from Chinatown about the incident. The two were rushed to a nearby hospital, but the woman was declared brought dead. Her father-in-law, who was in a critical condition, died during treatment, police said.
Li Wan, the accused, had at that time claimed he had left home and when he returned and tried to enter his house, he found the gate locked and no response from inside. His wife and father, he claimed, were not responding even to his phone calls.
He asked his neighbours for a ladder and urged a local to climb the high boundary wall of his house. The local then discovered the woman and her father-in-law lying in a pool of blood in the courtyard.
During interrogation, Li Wan's story collapsed and police started to suspect him.
CCTV footage across the street from Li Wan's house showed him leaving home at 7:11pm. He could be seen sweating profusely and his shirt was drenched in sweat or what appeared to be dark patches.
Another giveaway was that after neighbours confirmed that two bodies were lying in the house, Li Wan unlocked the grill gate with a key that he brought out of his own pocket. Police questioned him why did he raise such a hue and cry about the gate of his house being locked from inside when he had the key in his pocket all the time.
The man broke down and confessed after the quarrel with his wife, he had lost his temper and attacked her.
Earlier, when the police pointed to blood stains on his shirt, he had claimed the shirt had got stained when he tried to move his wife's body after it was discovered.
The accused is the priest, record keeper and the almanac reader of the Chinese community in Kolkata just like his father before him. He has three children who have all immigrated to Canada; the last one reportedly just 6 months ago. The children have been informed of the murders.