Jharna Maity’s husband Kingshuk being questioned at their house in Ramnagar on Wednesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
The role of a close relative, which does not exclude spouse, is being suspected behind the gruesome murder of 38-year-old homemaker Jharna Maity who was found with her throat slit at her Kadma home in Jamshedpur on Tuesday evening.
Police on Wednesday pressed a team of fingerprint experts into service at Sahara Complex in Ramnagar, where Jharna and her husband Kingshuk Maity (50) own a ground floor flat, and also began quizzing family members based in Adityapur, around 8km away. Kingshuk’s mobile phone, which was strangely found in the luggage box of his bike, has been taken for scrutiny of call records.
“We have clues that suggest the involvement of someone the victim knew and was close to. We have taken the husband’s phone into custody to check call details, which may help us find his location at the time of the murder,” said SP (rural) and acting SSP Shailendra Kumar Sinha, hinting that everyone was a suspect until the killer was nailed.
Incidentally, Bistupur marketing agency employee Kingshuk was the first to discover his wife’s blood-soaked body after he returned from work around 7.15pm on Tuesday. In his statement to police, he said he had come home for lunch in the afternoon and left for work again around 2pm.
However, a neighbour has claimed to have seen Kingshuk come out of the building around 6.15pm, an hour before the body was found. Also, the security guard said he had not seen any outsider enter the complex.
Neighbour Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, an electrical engineer and former Tata Steel employee who lives in the same apartment block as the Maitys, said he even spoke to Kingshuk. “I was going for an evening stroll around 6.15pm when I saw him (Kingshuk) outside the building. I casually asked him where he was headed to and he said he was going to the market,” Srivastava recalled.
Another neighbour, Rajeshwar Sahu, who was the first to hear Kingshuk’s screams and reach the murder scene past 7pm, guessed that Jharna was killed not too long ago. “The blood was still fresh and I could not bear to look at the body for more than a few seconds. It seemed the murder took place not more than an hour earlier,” he said.
Sahara Complex guard Vikram Lahiri said he had seen Kingshuk return home for lunch, but did not see him coming out again. “Maybe, I did not see him return to work because I also manage water distribution at the complex besides keeping vigil at the gate. But, one thing is for sure, no one from outside entered the building,” Lahiri said.
Jharna’s brother Chiranjiv Maity, however, did not train the lens of suspicion on his brother-in-law. “My sister was married to him (Kingshuk) five years ago. They had no marital problems,” said Chiranjiv, who is originally from East Midnapore in Bengal, but works and lives in Sonari.
Rural SP Sinha conceded that there were anomalies in what Kingshuk was telling and the statement of neighbours. “We are probing the matter,” he said.