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Couple held for murder of uncle

A young couple have been arrested in connection with the murder of 55-year-old Shankar Prasad Roy, whose body was found entombed in the kitchen slab in a two-storeyed Patuli house three months ago.

Chiranjib Sen, son of Roy’s sister, and wife Alpana were arrested in Midnapore on Thursday. They have been remanded in police custody till March 14.

“Chiranjib, 25, is jobless. A preliminary probe revealed that he had murdered Shankar Prasad Roy in the hope that he would inherit his maternal uncle’s two-storeyed house,” said a police officer.

Roy’s body was recovered on December 11 after neighbours complained of a stench emanating from the house. “We found the body wrapped in a mosquito net under the slab,” said an officer of the detective department. “We broke open the main door and searched the house thoroughly but failed to locate the source of the smell. While examining every corner of the house, we spotted a watery substance seeping through a kitchen wall. We broke the wall and found the decomposed body.”

Roy’s wife Krishna and daughter Mekhla, 24, had separated from him four years ago.

The police claimed Chiranjib and Alpana had confessed to their crime.

“Chiranjib strangled Roy to death on the night of December 5 and left the house. Two days later, he returned with Alpana,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police, crime. “Chiranjib had procured cement at least a week before the murder and stored it secretly in Roy’s house. He and Alpana dragged the body to the kitchen, placed it under the slab and sealed the space with bricks.”

How could the couple evade the police for over three months? “After committing the crime, the couple returned to their rented house in Sonarpur, where Chiranjib’s mother Bipasha, too, was living. The three left for Midnapore, where they rented a house,” said a police officer.

The officers probing the case were tipped off that Alpana would visit the city on Thursday. “We tailed her during her stay in the city and also while she was returning. The 23-year-old boarded a train at Howrah station. We accosted her while she got off at Kharagpur. She revealed Chiranjib’s whereabouts and we caught him in Midnapore town,” an officer of the detective department’s homicide wing said.

In 1994, a murdered man’s body was concealed in a similar way at a house on Beadon Street. The assassins were relatives of the deceased. They led a normal life and even cooked food using the gas-oven placed on the kitchen table.

The Bankshall court sentenced three persons, including a constable, to death but the high court commuted it to life imprisonment.