The husband of the woman found murdered at Barasat on December 29 allegedly killed her and made up a story of she being gang raped to evade suspicion.
The 55-year-old husband was arrested on Tuesday. He had been hospitalised with injuries that he said had been inflicted by those who had raped and killed his wife. “We investigated the rape charge and realised the husband was behind the entire plot. He has confessed to the crime,” said Shibaji Ghosh, additional director general of police, CID.
The body of the 45-year-old woman had been found on the edge of a pond at Jaganathpur, Barasat, with a wound on the back of her head. She and her husband lived nearby and worked in an adjacent brick kiln. Their son lodged a complaint against unknown persons accusing them of raping and murdering his mother.
In the complaint, the youth recounted how his father had come home running and said he had been forced to drink acid by those who had attacked his wife, when he tried to save her.
According to cops, the murder was the fallout of a conjugal dispute: the accused used to suspect his wife was having affairs with labourers at the kiln.
“The husband planned the murder and took the help of a local labourer contractor. He escorted the victim to the pond, where the contractor was waiting. The duo strangled her and then hit her on the head with a hammer that we have found,” said a CID officer.
“The husband then returned home and asked their son about his mother. On being told that she had gone out of the house, he said he was going out to find her. On the way out, he picked up a bottle of acid from the toilet,” the investigator added.
Cops quoted the accused as saying that he could not bear the pain after trying to drink the acid and commit suicide following the murder, and ran home. “But he failed to explain why he cooked up the gang rape story,” said the officer.
The police said the blood-stained shirt and jacket the accused was wearing that day had been recovered.
The contractor who allegedly helped the husband is yet to be arrested.
Sudha Banerjee, 52, wife of an ASI of police, died after setting herself on fire in her Alipore home on Monday evening. No suicide note was found.