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Hotelier killed, cook vanishes

The entrance to Mungamoti Hotel. Picture by Kundan Yolmo

Siliguri, Sept. 18: A 63-year-old woman was found strangled to death at her four-storied hotel at Sevoke Road this morning and police are looking for a cook in connection with the murder.

Radhika Tamang was found dead in the kitchen of Mungamoti Hotel for food and lodging by waiter Arun Subba when he arrived for duty around 10pm.

“A piece of cloth was over Radhika’s face while a towel was wrapped round her neck, suggesting that she had been strangled. As there was nobody else in the building then, he called up Radhika’s relative Shila Tamang, who immediately rushed to the spot,” said O.G. Paul, the deputy commissioner of police, Siliguri.

Police sources said Radhika was running the hotel as her 73-year-old husband, Bhim Tamang, was unwell because of age-related problems. They stay with daughter Deepa at their home in Church Road here. The couple have another daughter and a son who live elsewhere.

The hotel provides food and accommodation to low and medium-budget visitors. One-day rate for a double-bed room is Rs 500. The manager’s desk and the kitchen are on the ground floor, while the restaurant is on the first floor. There are six rooms on the top two floors which are for boarders.

The police said all rooms were empty last night and no customer was in the restaurant at the time of the murder.

“Only Radhika and Subhash Biswakarma, a waiter-cum-cook, were in the hotel when the crime took place. We suspect Biswakarma was behind the murder. He has gone missing after the incident. We are yet to ascertain the motive of the crime,” said Paul.

The sources said Biswakarma was from Navingram in the Singmari area of Darjeeling. “Vijay Moktan is the manager and he and Arun join duty at 10am. Radhika comes to hotel everyday at 8am. Biswakarma was the only person who stayed at the hotel,” said the source.