A 65-year-old retired state government employee, Jyotsna Bhowmik, was found murdered at her residence in Panchasayar, off the EM Bypass, on Thursday. She was a spinster who lived alone.
The murder was committed, probably during the day, a stone’s throw away from the residence of minister of state for Sunderbans development Kanti Ganguly. The assailants used one or several heavy objects to smash Jyotsna’s head.
“This is the first such incident here in the past 30 years,” said Ganguly. “People never thought such a thing could happen in Panchasayar.”
The police are still not certain whether it is a case of murder for gain. Only the gold chain she wore around her neck is missing. Though the door of the steel almirah was found open, the contents were not ransacked.
The new domestic help, Kalpana, who came to work for Jyotsna at noon from Thursday, found the front gate open. She then discovered Jyotsna lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom. The gas oven in the kitchen was still burning, leading the police to believe Jyotsna was killed shortly before Kalpana’s arrival.
Kalpana raised an alarm and called in next-door neighbour Viswambhar Nath. He informed Purba Jadavpur police station of the incident.
The earlier maid, Jharna, had been sacked on Wednesday. She was taken to Purba Jadavpur police station for interrogation.
Bhowmik had retired as upper division clerk in the office of the accountant-general, Bengal circle, in 1997. She had five brothers and sisters.
The house, Z-13, at Panchasayar, was built by one of her brothers. But Jyotsna lived there alone since her retirement.Her brothers live in Khardah.
Neighbours said Jyotsna was a kind-hearted person, who had donated a sizeable portion of her savings to the Ramakrishna Mission and for the development of a local school. Elder brother Ramendranath said: “We were very attached to each another. On Lakshmu puja, she had come to our Khardah home.”
Deputy superintendent of police (crime) Ranabir Banerjee and inspector in charge Tapan Datta rushed to the spot and started investigations.
“A person known to her has committed the crime," said an investigating officer.