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Tales of gore, truth untold

Flashback: An unknown woman in her mid-20s was murdered on the Maidan in May 2004. She was strangled with her dupatta. The killer, suspected to be her paramour, beat her ruthlessly, before stuffing her mouth with mud to stop her from shouting for help. The post-mortem report revealed that her ribs were broken, her liver had burst and kidney was damaged.

Present status: The only clue the police have is that the woman, before being killed, had shouted the name ‘Sujoy’. This piece of information was supplied by a Metro Railway night watchman.

 

Flashback: Eight-year-old Mudit Sharma was found strangled to death in a Maruti Zen parked at the Camac Street-Shakespeare Sarani crossing in September 1998. His younger brother Sumit was found lying senseless beside National Highway 6 near Kharagpur, about 120 km from his house in Salt Lake. All that Sumit recalled was a woman, whom he identified as ‘Gandi Aunty’, sitting with his father Manoj Sharma while the brothers were taking a hackney-carriage ride near Victoria Memorial.

Present status: With Sharma missing and ‘Gandi Aunty’ unidentified, the case has made little progress.

 

Flashback: In May 2002, Sushila Shamsukha and daughter Pragati were found dead, with their throats slit and multiple injuries in the chest and abdomen. The Tollygunge apartment was ransacked and valuables worth several lakhs were stolen. A relative, a boy, was the only witness and identified two brothers, Chandan Barmucha and Arun Barmucha, both distant relatives, as the culprits.

Present status: A dozen raids were carried out across Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, but the brothers Barmucha are still missing.

 

Flashback: In broad daylight, a youth in his mid-20s stormed into a flat in Thakurpukur in March 2003 and stabbed a couple, bank officer Jayanta Banerjee and wife Sarbari, while their only daughter was sleeping in her bedroom. Sarbari died. Subhankar, who had just returned from a posting in the Northeast, identified the killer as “short and clad in a T-shirt”. He left behind a chopper.

Present status: The police sent a team to the Northeast to investigate if militants were behind the killing, but drew a blank. The file is all but closed.

 

Flashback: Sonal Doshi, in her 30s, was hacked to death by an unknown assailant in her Bhowanipore flat in July 1998. Nothing in the house was touched.

Present status: A family friend was arrested, but let off for want of evidence.

 

Flashback: Eight-year-old Raunaq Singh was picked up from his school gate in June 1998, apparently by a relative or close family friend, on a scooter. Two days later, Raunaq’s body was found in a bedroll in a train compartment at the Howrah car shed. He was apparently strangled to death and a subsequent post-mortem revealed that he was sodomised by the abductor.

Present status: Killer untraced.

 

Flashback: The disappearance of college girl Debashree Roy and boyfriend Satya Narayan from a speeding train in August 1986 is still shrouded in mystery. The couple had eloped to Puri and was arrested there by a CID team. According to the statement of the inspector heading the team, the couple jumped off the compartment while the train was crossing Kolaghat bridge. Their bodies was never found and several members of the investigation team were suspended.

Present status: The case is still open, but the file is gathering dust. Amidst conflicting police versions, families find it “extremely strange” that none of the bodies could be traced.

 

Flashback: Taj Mohammed, controller of a traders’ union in Jorasanko, was found dead with multiple stab injuries in his office in September 2003. Someone had stabbed him in the face at least 10 times, apart from 20 more stabs all over his body.

Present status: After investigation, police ruled out the murder-for-gain theory and focussed on the revenge angle. Several people close to Mohammed were questioned, but there was no breakthrough or arrests.

 

Flashback: Calcutta University’s deputy controller of examinations Manisha Mukherjee disappeared from her house in December 1994. Her mother, Chinu Devi, initially gave the police a lot of information about the possible places where she could be hiding, apparently to save herself from “some university people” who wanted to kill her as she “knew about a lot of corrupt deals on campus”. Chinu Devi later alleged that her daughter had been murdered.

Present status: Despite a hunt for her all over eastern India, and amidst talk of political ‘fixing’, Manisha remained untraced. But the case file, the thickest with the Calcutta Police, hasn’t been opened for a while.

 

Flashback: An 83-year-old Parsi woman, S. Bartanwala, was shot dead in her RN Mukherjee Road flat in April 2001. Her domestic help, the only other inhabitant of the flat, was away at that time.

Present status: Case remains unsolved.

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