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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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First-time five held in doctor case by chance

Calcutta, March 18: Jayanta Ghosh, the doctor who was found with his throat slit, was kidnapped for ransom and then murdered in Murshidabad when the plan of five youths ' all without any criminal record ' went awry, police said today.

The alleged plot came to light as a result of what the police described as a “chance breakthrough” that followed the arrests of all the five from Chitpur in north Calcutta over the last two days.

Three of the suspects were arrested yesterday in connection with another crime but the trio ' Bablu Pal, Swapan Kahar and Raju Mishra ' unwittingly revealed that they were involved in the Salt Lake doctor’s murder. The rest ' Jagannath Nashkar and Somnath Mistry ' were arrested today.

The suspects, who live either in or on the outskirts of the city, are aged between 20 and 28. Except for one who is a driver, none has a steady job.

Ghosh went missing from his chamber in Tala in north Calcutta on March 6. Next morning, the doctor was found in Murshidabad bleeding from a throat wound and he breathed his last soon after.

The police said it appears that the plot to kidnap Ghosh was hatched about two months ago when Bablu, said to be the mastermind and the only one among the suspects who knew Ghosh, told the others that kidnapping the successful doctor would fetch them easy money.

On March 6, they assembled at Chiriamore in north Calcutta around 6 am and got into a hired Maruti van which had been brought by Raju, a driver.

The police said the suspects spent the next six hours making preparations: filling fuel in the car, buying rope, picking up a pair of dark glasses and pasting thick dark paper on the lenses to blindfold the victim and getting a knife, presumably the one that was eventually used to kill the 62-year-old doctor. Bablu had already acquired a country-made pistol.

Along the way, Jagannath and Swapan got off the car and, shortly after noon, the rest reached Raja Manindra Road and parked the vehicle some distance from Ghosh’s chamber.

Around 12.45, Bablu walked to Ghosh’s chamber and requested him to accompany him to Tala Park to attend to his ailing grandmother. The doctor went along with Bablu.

But when Jagannath and Swapan were picked up from Tala Park, Ghosh grew suspicious. When his questions drew a blank, the doctor started to shout. In order to drown his screams, the kidnappers played the music system at full blast, trussed him up and made him wear the dark glasses.

They made their way to Murshidabad where Bablu had managed to fix up a house where they could hide Ghosh. At Gayeshpur in Kalyani, they stopped near a telephone booth.

Bablu called Ghosh’s home but did not mention the ransom as too many people were around.

They proceeded to Murshidabad and reached Sundarpur village after 8 pm. Once in the village, the kidnappers found that the hideout was not available and they panicked.

They realised that letting Ghosh go would be too risky. Jagannath tried to shoot him with Bablu’s pistol, but it did not fire, the police said. According to Bablu’s statement to the police, it was then that Jagannath slit Ghosh’s throat and dumped him there.

The next morning, Bablu made a call to Ghosh’s wife asking for a ransom of Rs 2 lakh. The Maruti van has been traced and bloodstains were found on the back seat, which has been sent for forensic tests.

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