A yet-to-be identified assailant used a dagger to send a grievously-wounded bank manager to hospital after stabbing his wife to death at the door of their Thakurpukur apartment on Thursday afternoon.
Jayanta Banerjee, who was transferred back to his hometown this week by Canara Bank after a stint in Assam, managed to provide a sketchy account of the attack, even as he fought for his life at a private hospital, late on Thursday.
The assault on the doorstep, he recounted, was so swift and sudden that it did not even wake up their 17-year-old daughter, who was sleeping in the house.
Police stitched together the details from the sketchy accounts given by Jayanta and his neighbours. Wife Sarbari and daughter Sohini, a student of Class XI, had returned to their Calcutta home last Sunday, followed by Jayanta, on Wednesday, as he had been transferred to the bank’s NS Road headquarters.
All three were sleeping in the afternoon when a youth, in a black singlet and shorts, rang the bell of their third-floor flat in Rajani apartment at Natunpara, off Biren Roy Road (West).
The youth stabbed Sarbari in the stomach as soon as she opened the door. As Jayanta followed Sarbari to the door, the assailant slashed him across the stomach. When Sarbari tried to step in between the assailant and her husband, she suffered a second stab wound that later proved fatal.
The youth then started running down the stairs, with the couple, clutching on to their bleeding wounds, on his heels. But the injured duo soon gave up the chase and collapsed on the floor.
“We carried them back to their flat after hearing their screams,” neighbour Rina Das said. Local Trinamul Congress councillor Shyamadas Ray arrived and arranged for them to be taken to Vidyasagar Hospital, where Sarbari succumbed to her wounds. Jayanta was later shifted to CMRI, where he managed to give a statement to the police.
“We are yet to ascertain the motive behind the murder as the assailant, apparently alone and armed with only a foot-long dagger, did not try to rob the couple,” said South 24-Parganas additional superintendent of police (industrial) Rajesh Kumar Singh.
“His (Jayanta’s) failure to recognise the assailant has made things difficult for us,” admitted Singh. “The probe is on, but the apparent lack of motive is disconcerting.”