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Cable cash the cause, four held for Behala murders

Police on Sunday claimed to have cracked the Behala murder mystery, arresting two employees of cable operator Dipak Bhattacharya, one of the four victims, and two others.

“The killers wanted to grab a chunk of the proceeds of Dipak’s business but failed to get any as the money was not where they had suspected it to be — a wardrobe. Before they could try to open a steel almirah in the same room, the landline of the house had started ringing, scaring them off,” said an officer.

The alleged mastermind was Munna Dhali, who had been collecting subscriptions from Dipak’s customers for the past nine months and knew where his boss kept the money. The other three behind bars were Dhali’s colleague Rajesh Das and two masons, Naba Dhali and Sattar Mondal. “All four were picked up from Behala and have been remanded in police custody till September 21,” said an officer.

Dipak, 52, a bachelor and his mother Gouri, in her 70s, were murdered in their rooms on the first floor of their Biren Roy Road house on Thursday. The bodies of their help — Anima Mondal and Moyna Roy — were found on the ground floor.

“The plan for the September 6 murders had been hatched two days before. Munna had convinced his associates that there was at least Rs 5 lakh in the wardrobe (in Gouri’s room),” police commissioner R.K. Pachnanda said.

The sleuths became suspicious of Munna after coming to know that he had turned up at Dipak’s office at 2.20pm, around two hours behind schedule, on the day of the murder.

The cops said Munna was first to enter the two-storeyed house on Thursday, around 11.30am. He allegedly left the door open behind him.

“Munna asked help Anima to prepare tea. While she was in the kitchen, the other three entered the house. Moyna was upstairs, and so were Dipak and his bed-ridden mother. Rajesh attacked Anima from behind in the kitchen and slit her throat with a knife,” said an investigating officer.

The sleuths quoted the accused as saying that they had heard footsteps on the stairs immediately after the murder and found Moyna heading downstairs.

“The gang bolted the kitchen door and hid in an adjoining room. They dragged Moyna to the room, hit her on her head and slit her throat,” the officer said.

“The gang then tiptoed to the first floor. Dipak was lying on the bed in his room, watching TV. He apparently sensed something wrong and was about to get up when the four attacked him and slit his throat. They then went to Gouri’s room and killed her in the same way,” the officer said.

According to the cops, either Rajesh or Naba had slit the throats of Moyna, Dipak and Gouri.

After the murders, the men opened the wardrobe. Munna knew where the keys were as he used to keep the money he would collect in the wardrobe himself since Gouri suffered a rib fracture and became bed-ridden a few weeks ago.

A probe revealed that Gouri had recently sold a property with the help of Ajit Senapati, the manager of the cable TV business, for Rs 18 lakh. “Gouri was suspicious that Senapati had cheated her while striking the deal. Munna said during interrogation that he was hoping to get away with the crime like Senapati,” the officer said.