The decomposed body of an Afghan man missing since January was found in an abandoned cinema on Lenin Sarani on Monday.
The victim was identified as Isha Khan, brother-in-law of Sushmita Bhattacharya, writer of a memoir titled Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou (Bengali Wife of a Kabuliwala) and wife of Jaanbaz Khan.
Jaanbaz, a resident of Nagerbazar, had informed police about the disappearance of his brother on January 13. He also met the former joint commissioner of police (crime), Damayanti Sen, at the Lalbazar police headquarters. A probe was initiated but cops were unable to make headway in the absence of any leads.
Electricians engaged by the owners of the cinema, which had changed hands in 2008, spotted a skeleton. “The electricians had climbed up the asbestos roof to inspect the air-conditioning ducts when they found the false ceiling broken. As they focused a torch on the floor below, they saw a skeleton lying there,” said the officer.
The workers initially thought it was a dummy used in film shoots but as they entered the cinema, the foul stench confirmed that it was a corpse.
Some friends of Isha Khan, most of them Afghan moneylenders with who he had been living in a house next to the cinema, identified him from the clothes. “The body was beyond recognition but the victim’s apparel helped in the identification,” said a police officer. Later, Jaanbaz confirmed that the victim was his brother.
“We have sent the body for examination by forensic experts to ascertain the exact reason behind Isha’s death,” said an officer of New Market police station.
“The main door and other entry points of the cinema were bolted. It is a mystery how Isha’s body reached the floor of the cinema, which had been locked. We are questioning those who stayed with him and trying to draw up a list of all those who had borrowed money from him,” said an officer of detective department.