|Anti-hooch crusader Sourav Chowdhury and (below) Shyamal Karmakar
Shyamal Karmakar, the prime suspect in the murder of anti-hooch crusader Sourav Chowdhury, allegedly got support from a Trinamul supporter in finding hideouts.
Police said Sishir Mukherjee, a Trinamul supporter who once lived in Bamangachhi, had allowed Shyamal to stay in his Beleghata house a day after the July 4 murder and accompanied him to Tarapith in Birbhum.
Sishir had allegedly booked a room in a Tarapith hotel, where Shyamal had stayed, by producing a photocopy of his voter ID card.
Shyamal and one of his associates, Ratan Das, were arrested at Rampurhat railway station, near Tarapith, late on Tuesday.
“Sishir is a frequent traveller to Tarapith and he used his connections to provide Shyamal refuge when he was on the run,” said an officer probing the murder. “It was Sishir who had advised Shyamal to shave his hair and moustache in a bid to evade the police.”
The police said a hunt was on for Sishir. “Sishir harboured Shyamal despite knowing that he had committed a murder and been evading the police.”
The police had earlier said Shyamal had left Bamangachhi on Saturday morning, a day after the murder, and came to Beleghata, where he had spent the entire day and slept on a bench on the banks of Subhas Sarovar.
“That was what Shyamal told us after his arrest. A prolonged interrogation revealed Sishir’s role in helping the accused get hideouts. Sishir had let Shyamal stay in his Beleghata house for a couple of days before accompanying him and Ratan to Tarapith by train on Monday. At the temple town, Shishir booked a hotel room in his name by producing a photocopy of his voter ID card,” the officer said.
Sishir allegedly spent the entire Monday with Shyamal and Ratan in the hotel room and left Tarapith the next morning, hours before Shyamal and Ratan checked out.
An officer said Shyamal’s statements during interrogation on Thursday matched the findings of the post-mortem report.
“The other accused, who had been arrested earlier, told us that they had strangled Sourav. But Shyamal confessed that the victim was stabbed several times. The post-mortem report has mentioned Sourav was stabbed five times before he died,” the officer said.
The police, however, are yet to recover the weapon with which Sourav was stabbed.
“We are also searching for a firearm Shyamal was allegedly carrying when he abducted Sourav from in front of a club in Bamangachhi. The victim was held at gunpoint and the assassins walked him along the lanes of Kulberia before reaching a deserted spot where the 22-year-old was murdered.”
The youth’s body parts were found along the railway tracks on Saturday morning.