| Shyama Prasad Roy’s wife Krishna. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
Shyama Prasad Roy, 54, was dead on Thursday, kneeling on his bed with his hands tied behind his back, his feet trussed together and a gag stuffed into his mouth. The advocate had been murdered in his south Calcutta home, off Rashbehari Avenue, on Tuesday.
“The way Roy was murdered suggests that the assassin might have committed the crime either to take revenge or out of a deep personal grudge,” said Jawed Shamim, the deputy commissioner of police (south division). “The flat was not ransacked and nothing appears to have been stolen. The reason behind the killing is not clear yet.”
Roy’s body was discovered on Thursday after neighbour Laltu Mukherjee sounded the alarm on detecting a stench emanating from the second-floor flat, where he lived alone since his wife Krishna and daughter Nandita left him eight years ago.
Police arrived at the Park Side Road building and broke into the flat to find Roy’s body on the bed, wrapped in a blanket.
Mukherjee was the last to see Roy. “Around 10am on Tuesday, he came to my first-floor flat. He spent half-an-hour and left. I got worried when I did not see him the whole of Wednesday and he did not emerge from his flat on Thursday morning,” he said.
Roy had a habit of dragging a chair out from his flat and sitting in front of his door every day around 9am. When Mukherjee did not hear the sound of the chair being dragged for the second successive day, he went to find out if Roy was all right. It was then that he detected the foul smell and raised the alarm.
“He was a loner. He did not even appoint a domestic help and would buy food from nearby eateries and keep to himself,” said Mukherjee.
Roy got possession of the three-storeyed building off Rashbehari Avenue after his father BP Roy died.
“He had stopped his practice in court and was working as an income-tax consultant. After selling six flats on the first and second floors, he moved into a small flat on the second floor. There was one more flat left to sell,” said elder brother Sushil Roy, a resident of Chitpur.
Roy’s wife Krishna and daughter Nandita, 22, had moved into her parents’ house eight years ago. She had filed for divorce in January 2006.
“But Roy was not ready to go in for a divorce. His wife had also demanded alimony,” said Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Roy’s legal adviser.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a number of real-estate agents used to visit Roy regularly.
Deputy commissioner Shamim said Roy was murdered “some time between Tuesday afternoon and evening”.
The door was not bolted from outside and there was no mark to suggest forcible entry into the apartment, police said.
“The number of persons involved in the crime is not known, but it appears that the killer was known to the victim. We are checking the victim’s computer and the call statement on his cellphone for a lead to crack the case,” said Shamim.