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Asansol: A mentally retarded man today hacked his mother with an axe and then set her on fire with kerosene oil before throwing the corpse into the river.

The shocking incident took place at Damra area of ward 87 in Asansol Municipal Corporation in West Burdwan district.

Neighbours said that victim Mala Tudu (60), a widow, was mother to two adult sons. Her elder son Badrinath Tudu lives separately; younger son Gopal Tudu, who is mentally unsound, lived with her.

Today morning, people saw Gopal dragging his aged mother to the field located near the river. He was carrying an axe and a bottle of kerosene oil. On being confronted by some youths, Gopal threatened to kill them with the axe if they neared.

The youths allowed him to go but at once alerted the entire neighbourhood. By the time people rushed to the field, Gopal had hacked his mother Mala with the axe and then set her on fire with kerosene oil.

Seeing the people, Gopal lugged the charred dead body of his mother and threw it into the river located about 100-meter from the field. During this, a section of the people grabbed him behind. They also pulled out the dead from the river at once.

The angry people then started assaulting Gopal. Learning about this, cops from Asansol South police station rushed to the spot and rescued him in an injured state. He has been admitted to the Asansol District Hospital.

In the preliminary interrogation by the police, accused Gopal has said that he killed his mother because she loved his elder brother Badrinath more.