An engineer in his early 60s was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly masterminding the murder of his wife at their Jadavpur apartment.
Police said the July 18 murder was an outcome of an illicit relationship between Samiran Ghosh, the engineer, and a domestic help, Shibani Manna.
Sources said the police have zeroed in on the engineer, who runs a business of distilled water, based on statements made by the 30-year-old domestic help and pieces of electronic evidence.
The plan, sleuths said, was such that Ghosh would be away on a business tour in Odisha when Shibani would let in the assailants. “We will have to question Ghosh for more details,” an officer said.
Shampa, 56, a homemaker, was found dead in the bathroom of their apartment after Shibani had “alerted” neighbours around 4am on July 18. A neighbour who came out of his flat saw Shibani standing outside her employer’s flat, her hands tied with a salwar.
She had said burglars had raided the Ghoshs’ apartment and were about to kill Shampa.
“Unlike what they (the accused) had made it appear, Shampa Ghosh was not murdered for gain. Her husband had plotted her murder after she came to know of his affair with their domestic help,” said joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.
“The men Shibani had let into the first-floor flat on Jadavpur’s Central Road killed Shampa Ghosh. The lady was smothered and strangulated. She also suffered internal haemorrhage, apparently because of the fall on the floor of the bathroom,” said an officer.
“To make it look like a heist, the gang ransacked the house and stole cash.”
The cops started suspecting Shibani after identifying several loopholes in her statement and later arrested her and her accomplices on the charge of murdering the homemaker. The accused were all from Gosaba in South 24-Parganas, Shibani’s hometown.
The family had hired Shibani, a widow with a 13-year-old son, in 2007.
Initially, Shibani and the men had claimed that they did not want to murder Shampa. “They said they had to kill her when she tried to resist the heist,” said an officer of the homicide department.
“Shibani finally admitted that she had a relationship with Ghosh, who had planned Shampa’s murder months before. Shibani has given her statement before the court as well,” the officer said.
“Ghosh called her moments after the murder, apparently to find out whether the operation was running smoothly. By then, Shampa had died and the men who killed her left the building,” the officer added.
Ghosh allegedly failed to justify the purpose of his Odisha tour when the police questioned him after the incident. He has been remanded in police custody till October 10.