Bangalore, July 26: Tanya Banerjee logged out of her BPO job at 9.39 pm yesterday, slung her bag across the shoulder, bid her colleagues good night and left for home as usual.
Around 11.30 pm, her roommate Shameem Banu received an SMS from Tanya saying she was on her way to Calcutta to celebrate her birthday on July 28. This morning, her body was found 230 km away on the Bangalore-Mangalore national highway.
“She was found with 25-30 stab wounds in the chest and abdomen,” police said.
Passers-by had called Hassan police after spotting a girl’s body on the side of the highway. The police found her identification tag, issued by Aviva 24/7 where she had joined in June, in a bush.
“The body has been sent for post-mortem to the Sakleshpur district hospital. Preliminary investigation reveals that she was stabbed and does not look like an attempt to robbery case,” the police said.
“The clothes she was wearing ' loose T-shirt and jeans ' and her ornaments, earrings and a bangle, are intact, revealing no visible signs of rape,” Hassan superintendent of police P.H. Rane added.
The 31-year-old from Belur had been in Bangalore for four years. “She was a trainee with Aviva 24/7 from June. We cannot reveal any other details as a police investigation is on,” a company spokesperson said.
She said the company would not be able to confirm whether Tanya had a boyfriend. “But she never used the company transport, though the distance from office to her home is 18 km. We do not know how she went home every day.”
Based on leads from her roommates Shameem and Anita Singh, the police are searching for Kishore, Tanya’s junior in another BPO.
Shameem told the police that the victim and Kishore were often seen together and that he used to drop her and pick her up on his motorcycle. After she received the SMS last night, Shameem had called Tanya immediately but the mobile was switched off.
Anita, who also works with Aviva 24/7 but was home at the time, called another colleague who saw Tanya and Kishore together. Kishore’s mobile, too, was switched off.
Tanya was outgoing and bubbly, said the girls who had been her roommates for two years. Her family denied that Tanya’s birthday was on Friday as the SMS said and clarified that it was in August.
The murder comes months after another BPO employee, Pratibha Srikanta Murthy, was raped and killed last December by her cab driver.