A 65-year-old man living alone at a rented apartment on Elliot Road was found dead, with a bloodstained hand towel covering his face.
Police said a courier man saw, through the gap of the main door left ajar, Deb Kumar Mukherjee lying on his back on the floor of the drawing room. The man had gone to the house around 4pm to deliver the elderly man’s mobile phone bill.
He alerted the neighbours, who called a private doctor and the police. One of the neighbours phoned his son and daughter-in-law in Delhi.
The doctor checked his pulse and declared him dead, the police said.
An officer said blood was oozing from Mukherjee’s nose and there were scratch marks under his eyes and throat.
“Everything inside looked intact from the floor carpet to the cabinets. There were injury marks on the man’s face and throat. We have sent the body for autopsy to ascertain the cause of death,” said a senior officer at Park Street police station.
Sources in the homicide department said Mukherjee was found on living room floor with his legs crossed and his hands stretched sideways. A hand towel covering his face was soaked in blood oozing out of his nose, they added.
Neighbours said Mukherjee lost his wife Bidisha last November while the couple’s son Rishi, who got married two-and-a-half years ago, stays in Delhi. Bidisha used to teach dance to children until the last days of her life.
The rented two-room flat on the first floor of the four-storey building had been home to the Mukherjees for the past three decades.
“We have learnt that he had stopped cooking at home and would eat outside. He used to live alone and if anything is missing from the house, only his son would be able to tell,” said an officer.
The officer said he was a member of Pronam, the support system for the elderly living alone in the city.
He was last seen buying milk and bread from a grocer on the ground floor of the building. “He came to my shop around 7pm. I enquired about his health and he said he was fine,” said Mohammed Chand, the shopkeeper.
A neighbour said Mukherjee was an aspiring writer in his younger days but switched to real estate after failing to make a mark with the pen. He used to do business from the rented flat.