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Chemist packs bag, declares city stinks

Hours after a hushed return to his Salt Lake residence late on Tuesday, head shaven and cigarette burns on his left hand, the 'missing' research chemist left the city on Wednesday.

Madhusudan Rao Ibathula, 23, lost since Sunday morning and found on Tuesday night, left behind a trail of unanswered questions about his mysterious abduction and equally mysterious return.

All that he would say before leaving was a damning one-liner: 'Calcutta is not a good place and I want to go back (home)'

Senior officers of Chembiotek Research International ' the Sector V company that had employed Madhusudan on July 20 ' claimed the youth left for hometown Narasaropet, in Guntur district.

Three relatives, including his brother, who had arrived in the city on Wednesday, accompanied Madhusudan.

'We didn't want to probe deeper into Madhusudan's disappearance as this morning, he expressed his desire to rush back home. We didn't stop him since he appeared quite traumatised,' said Subrata Mitra, a senior executive of the company.

A section of the company's senior officers met Madhusudan in the presence of his relatives at his AE block rented flat and heard him out. They advised him not to return to office immediately, as he would face a barrage of questions.

In his statement to the police, Madhusudan claimed that on Sunday morning, three youths had abducted him in an Ambassador car from outside AE Market.

They took him to a small hut somewhere, offered him a role in a blue film and when he refused, beat him up.

On Tuesday afternoon, he somehow managed to slip out of the clutches of his abductors, make his way to Howrah in a taxi and finally return to his Salt Lake flat via a private bus on route 215 A.

At Howrah, Madhusudan went to a phone booth, called up relatives back home and then informed a roommate that he was on his way back.

'Madhusudan returned around 9.30 pm, but his friends alerted us almost two hours later. He has told us his part of the story which, we are verifying. But there are certain points which are just not adding up,' said Sankha Subhra Chakrabarty, sub-divisional police officer of Salt Lake.

As proof of being kidnapped and tortured, the masters in organic chemistry from Nagarjuna University pointed to his shaven head and cigarette burns on his left hand.

'Madhusudan told his friends the abductors took him to a hut, where he was offered Rs 10,000 for a single shoot of a blue film. The youths claimed they, too, were from Andhra Pradesh,' said Debasish Jana, local councillor who had been keeping in touch with Madhusudan's friends since his disappearance.

'He had no recollection of what happened once he got into the car. All that he said was that the roof of the hut where he was kept was covered with coconut leaves,' added Jana.

Madhusudan's roommates, who also work for Chembiotek Research International, refused to comment on the incident on Wednesday.

'We are new to this city and still don't know much about the place' We see policemen at night, but we don't know how he was taken away by three men on a Sunday morning,' said one.

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