A notice announces
Kheya’s death at Children’s
Little Theatre where
she used to coach kids.
Picture by Tamaghna Banerjee
Calcutta, Sept. 1: The three women from a Golf Green family who jumped to their death off a South City terrace at 2.30am on Friday did not arrive together at the high-rise complex, it emerged today.
Amita Mukherji, 81, and daughter Kheya, 35, entered South City at 7.57pm on Thursday in their grey Zen and again at 10pm. They apparently returned home for a while around 8.30-9pm, according to the account of a neighbour who claims to have seen the car.
The multiple accounts threw new light on the unusual lengths to which the family went in order to pick a location to carry out what is being seen as a suicide pact. The versions suggest two members of the family reconnoitred the spot while the other took care of the head of the family’s last rites.
Amita’s elder daughter Mukuta, 47, attended to the cremation of father Nihar at Keoratola where she spent the entire evening till at least 11pm, said family friend Rabi Chatterjee, a leading table tennis coach who had trained the sisters.
It’s unclear when and how Mukuta joined her mother and sister, but CCTV footage at the lobby of Oak Tower I —from where they jumped —shows her in front of the lift at 11.45pm.
Chatterjee, a Kalighat resident, had accompanied the family on Thursday evening to the RN Tagore Institute of Cardiac Sciences at Mukundapur on the city’s southern fringes to claim the body of Nihar, 91, who had died on Wednesday.
“Around 7pm, the three of them and I set out for Keoratola in their car with a hearse carrying the body. Mukuta and I got off near South City and took a cab to the crematorium while Kheya and her mother entered the complex,” Chatterjee, 71, said.
He said no one explained why Amita and Kheya were visiting South City but he did not sense anything wrong. He said Mukuta was still at the crematorium when he left around 11pm. “She told me she would take a taxi home.”
“As of now, it’s a clear case of a suicide pact,” an officer said. “The only missing link is how Mukuta kept in touch with her sister and mother after they entered South City. We haven’t found any cellphone at the spot though we know Mukuta was carrying one during the evening.”
South City security guards had said the Mukherjis’ Zen was driven by a woman but police today said their male driver was at the wheel at least when they entered the second time. “The driver slept in the car. He fled during the hubbub over the discovery of the bodies,” an officer said.
None of the eight CCTVs at the Oak Tower I lobby showed Kheya or Amita entering, the police said. “It appears they sneaked into the building through an area not covered by the CCTVs,” an officer said.
He said this implied that Kheya and Amita were waiting for Mukuta on the terrace or the landing, where they left a bag.
Chatterjee said he had known the family for 25 years. Both he and Kheya coached youngsters in table tennis at Children’s Little Theatre in Dhakuria, which was closed today as a mark of respect for her.