The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Love triangle torn by bullets

She is young and attractive and a mother of two. He is her husband’s childhood friend. The two gradually grew so close that they decided they couldn’t live without each other. But the husband, who refused to step aside for the two to start a life together, had to be “taken care of”…

A copybook crime of passion ripped apart a Thakurpukur home late on Thursday, with Manabendra De, 32, being shot dead by childhood friend and wife Kajol’s paramour, Rajiv De. But there was no living happily ever for the couple who had, apparently, tried to convince Manabendra to “let his wife go”. Kajol broke down on Friday, under sustained police interrogation, and Rajiv is on the run.

Rajiv pumped two bullets into Manabendra, while another grazed the chest of Saibal Biswas — the victim’s confidant and fellow realtor. Saibal is battling for his life at Vidyasagar Hospital, police said on Friday.

Rajiv, Kajol and Manabendra were friends for years as they all grew up in the same locality. Earlier, said the police, Rajiv would always indulge in friendly banter with Kajol. But gradually, the friendship blossomed into romance and the two started spending more time together, often at Kajol’s parent’s house. Kajol reportedly told the police that Manabendra, “a fairly successful realtor”, became so busy that he had very little time left for the family.

Manabendra soon grew suspicious of the relationship and warned Kajol never to meet Rajiv again.

The warning, however, did not deter Kajol and Rajiv from continuing to see each other. Four months ago, Manabendra found his wife with Rajiv, deputy superintendent of police (town) Subhankar Chatterjee said on Friday. Enraged, he slapped Kajol and threatened her.

“Rajiv, too, lost his cool when Manabendra slapped Kajol and left the house threatening the realtor that he had gone too far and would pay for this,” Chatterjee said. “He served an ultimatum to Manabendra to divorce his wife so that Kajol and he could start a life together. Manabendra ignored this and later told his wife that he still loved her,” Chatterjee added.

According to investigators, Kajol and Rajiv started plotting Manabendra’s death from the day of the showdown.

They were desperate to be together and Manabendra was a stumbling block they could do nothing about.

Late on Thursday, Rajiv decided to force the issue. He arrived at Manabendra’s office on a motorbike — with a pillion rider — and opened fire. One bullet pierced Manabendra’s skull, another his abdomen and the third hit Saibal.

Rajiv zoomed away before residents of the area could react. Kajol was, initially, only detained for interrogation. At first, she started contradicting herself and then finally blurted out the truth. She is now under police custody. A hunt is on for Rajiv, police said.

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