Singing like a bird took on a different meaning and turned two killers into jailbirds when a pet talking-parrot in Agra helped the police "identify" a murderer. The bird proved worthy of its name, Heera (diamond), and the UP Police commended it, saying the parrot helped them crack the murder case.
Neelam Sharma, wife of Vijay Sharma, editor of a local Hindi newspaper, was found murdered at her home in Balkeshwar locality of Agra on February 20. She was alone at home as Vijay and their children had gone for a wedding to neighbouring Firozabad. Vijay returned to find his wife and their pet dog Tuffy stabbed to death while cash, jewellery and other valuables were missing from the house. The police investigations ran into a blind alley as there were no suspects or evidence to nail the killers.
Initially, a milk-seller who had mediated a land deal between Vijay and a buyer was interrogated, but it provided no clue about the crime. The family members, however, got suspicious after noticing a change in the behaviour of their pet parrot. "Heera sulked whenever Ashutosh (Vijay's nephew) came home or passed by its cage," said Vijay's brother Ajay Sharma. "The parrot would also start behaving strangely whenever somebody took Ashutosh's name," he added.
Perplexed over the pet parrot's behaviour, Ajay and Vijay took names of their relatives in front of its cage. The parrot did not react to any name, but as soon as they said "Ashutosh", it would start shrieking "usne maara, usne maara" (he killed, he killed). Vijay then informed the police and repeated the exercise in front of them. The police nabbed Ashutosh and he confessed to the crime.
Agra senior superintendent ofpolice (SSP) Shalabh Mathur said: "It was the parrot which helped us zero in on the murderer. Otherwise, we were just groping in the dark for the past five days."