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Parrot helps India police catch murder suspect

Ashutosh Goswami thought he would get away with robbery when he killed his aunt who caught him red-handed. But according to local police, he hadn’t realised her pet parrot would turn stool pigeon.

In highly embellished accounts of one of the most unlikely Indian murder mysteries in living memory, Goswami was just one of a number of suspects until the victim’s widower local Hindi newspaper editor, Vijay Sharma, read out their names in front of their parrot Heera. When Ashutosh Goswami’s name was read out, the parrot squawked”Usne maara, usne maara’- ‘he’s the killer, he’s the killer.’

Ashutosh was arrested by police in Balkeshwar Colony in Agra for the murder of his aunt Neelam and confessed to her killing, the Press Trust of India reported. According to the well-respected agency, the role of the parrot Heera was hailed by the local Senior Superintendent of Police Shalabh Mathur:”We got a lot of help from the parrot to zero in on the murderer,” he said.

The suspect told detectives he had decided to rob the home of his aunt and uncle with his accomplice Ronny Massey and held his aunt at knife point to force her to hand over their valuables. He stabbed her pet dog and then killed his aunt to make sure she did not inform the police.

He had thought the parrot would be a silent witness, but the victim’s husband, Vijay Sharma, today told the Telegraph Heera had identified his nephew as the killer with a squawk.

“The police told us that the murderer is someone close and known to the family as there was a friendly entry into the house. They gave us names of few suspects including my nephew.

“The parrot always used to be with my wife and I was sure he had witnessed the murder. It was unbelievable and to satisfy ourselves whether the police were going in the right direction we called out the names of all the suspects to our parrot. Surprisingly he screamed and made unusual noises whenever my nephew’s name came up. He confessed to police,” he said.

The investigating officer Superintendent Satyarth Anirudh said he was skeptical of the claims and said normal police work had identified the killer. “It was a blind murder, no ckues, but were were sure someone close to the family was incvolved. We questioned many people and found who had visited the house in the absence of the victim’s husband.

“We interrogated all the suspects and the nephew of the victim confessed to the crime. We don’t know where the parrot came into it,” he said.

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