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Murder motive not money

Police on Monday ruled out housebreaking in the murder of homemaker Namita Gunin, 46, and her daughter Sreyoshi in their third-floor flat in Dum Dum two days ago.

They were found dead in a bedroom with multiple cuts on their bodies. Though almirahs were ransacked, valuables were not missing from the flat, a family member said.

The police said prima facie it looked like a pre-planned murder and the duo knew the assailants. “The family had not mentioned clearly if anything has gone missing. It seems the mother and daughter were not murdered for gain,” a senior officer said.

The preliminary autopsy report suggests that the duo were strangulated and then slashed with a sharp weapon.

The police suspect that two or more persons were involved in the crime. “The wounds are post-mortem in nature… they were strangled and the injuries were inflicted later. Also, there has been no evidence of a scuffle or resistance inside the house. The assailants possibly had a friendly entry into the house,” said the officer of Barrackpore commissionerate.

Sreyoshi was found face down on the bed with her hands and feet tied with tape on Saturday night. Her mouth and gashes on the throat were taped. There were multiple stab injuries on Namita’s body, including her chest, and she was found on her back on the same bed. The same tape had been used to cover the keyhole and eyehole on the main door.

Namita’s husband Soumendaranath, a retired bank employee, was not at home.

He had returned around 8pm and alerted the neighbours about the murder in his house 40 minutes later.

The autopsy report suggests that the duo, whose last rites were performed on Sunday, died between 4pm and 6pm.

The police have questioned a girl living three floors below the Gunins, who was close to Sreyoshi and seen chatting with her on the building’s terrace in the afternoon.

Rajyasree Sani, a neighbour for the past eight years, said she heard some thumping sounds around 4.30pm but did not bother to check.

She said Sreyoshi’s friend rang the doorbell a few moments later and claimed that she heard some strange cries. “The girl was continuously pressing the bell…. She said she rang the bell at Sreyoshi’s house but no one responded,” Sani said.

Sani said the girl looked terrified. “She heard a strange cry while on the terrace and came running down. She asked me if she could stay in my flat for a while,” she said.

Neighbour Asish Majumder said the girl and Sreyoshi were on the terrace when he had gone there to fetch clothes hung out to dry.

Sreyoshi was a student of St Stephens School in Dumdum. She dropped out after failing in the Class VIII exam.