The blood on the floor of the Nandi home had not dried on Friday afternoon, as the shroud of an acrimonious marriage and a brutal murder hung heavy over Kasundia Second Bylane, in Shibpur.
Hours ago, Srabani Nandi, 39, had been killed — the back of her head smashed by a heavy object, her forehead dashed repeatedly against a pillar.
Her husband Sisir, a Howrah-based businessman, was picked up for interrogation by the police, who later said his shirt bore bloodstains. The maid, Sulekha, is also being quizzed for clues and forensic experts have moved in.
Srabani used to stay in the three-storeyed house with her husband and their only son, a student of Class IX.
Friday began like any other weekday in the Nandi home, with Sisir leaving after breakfast, to drop their son to school before heading off for his Dasnagar factory. That was around 10 am.
At about 11 am, Sulekha came to work, only to find Srabani lying dead on the blood-filled floor. The maid raised an alarm, calling in members of a local club. The club members contacted the Shibpur police, who in turn informed Sisir about the tragedy.
“The victim was hit on the back of her head with a heavy object and then her forehead was dashed against a nearby pillar which was also splattered with blood,” said Salil Bhattacharya, officer-in-charge, Shibpur police station.
Bhattacharya said the murdered housewife might have known the killer. He went on to add that the Nandis had two dogs — a Spitz and an Alsatian. While the Alsatian was chained when the police arrived, the Spitz was roaming around, with a freshly bathed look. The murderer, police said, may have bathed the dog to wash off blood stains.
Preliminary investigations indicated that the couple was struggling to cope with a failed marriage and that Srabani had become involved with a youth from the area. Sisir, apparently, knew about this, neighbours said.
“The matter had reached a point where Sisir was planning to go in for a divorce. He admitted as much during interrogation,” Bhattacharya confirmed.
“But he (Sisir) is making contradictory statements. First he said that he left home with his son after breakfast, but then told us that he came back home for breakfast after dropping his son to school and finally left for the factory around 10 am. To corroborate his statements, we are also interrogating his son and some others,” added Bhattacharya.
Srabani’s son, who was brought to the police station straight from school, appeared shell-shocked, as he stood staring at his father being questioned by the cops.
At the police station, a distraught Prodyut Pramanik, father of Srabani, fought to come to terms with the tragedy. “We could not believe it when we were told by the police. My daughter was married for more than 15 years… We never thought that she would be murdered like this,” said Pramanik.