Did his shady past finally catch up with him' That was the question haunting the police as they tried to crack the mystery murder of a finance company agent early on Sunday in a crowded south Calcutta neighbourhood.
Nandadulal Bhattacharya, 35, was found murdered in bed with a rope around his neck and a wound just above the right eyebrow. Surprisingly, there was no evidence of any break-in or scuffle, deputy superintendent of police (town) Subhankar Chatterjee said.
The single-storeyed house on the edge of Vidyasagar Sixth Lane, at Palpara, in Bansdroni, in the Regent Park police station area, was well-furnished.The colour television in the bedroom, the trendy telephone set on a bedside table and the motorcycle in a far corner of the covered verandah forced police to look into Bhattacharya’s past.
There was another bed on the floor, in which Bhattacharya’s body was found, covered up to the chin with a thick blanket. Police entered the house after cutting the verandah grille.
Under the bedside table were a few stainless-steel plates, bowls, tumblers and spoons which suggested that Bhattacharya had company, most probably a nephew from Andhra Pradesh, who is now under the cop scanner. The utensils and the leftovers were sent for a forensic test. Sniffer dogs were called in.
Chatterjee admits that the detectives working on the murder have not yet found a lead. But what is engaging their attention are three points to be probed: Bhattacharya’s acting as a local agent of a Lucknow headquartered all-India non-banking finance company, which has interests in, among other things, aviation and media businesses; his operation as a sub-broker in the Calcutta Stock Exchange and his reneging recently on assured payments of interest on deposits he had mobilised from a large number of neighbours as well as relatives and acquaintances.
Bhattacharya’s wife, five-year-old daughter and mother were not at home on Saturday night. They had gone to attend a family ceremony in Hooghly.
“All that we can say at this point is that Bhattacharya’s nephew is high on our list of suspects, as are others who we believe have had transactions with the broker and fell foul with him. It seems the murderer was closely known to Bhattacharya, who had two houses and an adjoining grocery store,” a sleuth said.