A middle-aged company executive who went missing on his way to office on May 23 was allegedly murdered that very day by a distant relative whose proposal to marry his daughter he had rebuffed.
Subhendu Dey, a married man with a five-year-old daughter, was arrested on Monday evening for the murder of Rajatsubhra Mukherjee, 52, of Shibpur in Howrah. Based on his confession, four others were rounded up later.
A police team is scheduled to visit Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday to find the victim’s body, which the accused have confessed to burying in a village there. Sandeshkhali is around 75km from Calcutta.
Rajatsubhra, a resident of Prasanna Kumar Dutta Lane in Shibpur, had left for his office on Strand Road in the central business district as usual on May 23 but didn’t return home in the evening. The family found little reason to suspect that Subhendu had anything to do with it until the police found out that the threat calls they had been receiving since Rajatsubhra’s disappearance were all by him.
“Subhendu had suppressed his marital status because he wanted to marry the victim’s daughter. When Rajatsubhra rejected his marriage proposal, he was so angry that he plotted the murder,” an investigator said.
On the day of the murder, Rajatsubhra apparently met Subhendu near Mullick Fatak in Howrah. The accused offered him a lift till his office, which the 52-year-old accepted, the police said.
“On the way, Subhendu offered Rajatsubhra a drink laced with sedatives. He drank it and became unconscious in a few minutes,” said a senior police officer associated with the investigation.
Subhendu, who owns a garments manufacturing unit, allegedly used a piece of rope to strangulate Rajatsubhra and called his manager Gautam Sau to help him dump the body somewhere. “Sau contacted his maternal uncle, Ranjit Maity, a resident of Sandeshkhali, to say he was going there,” the officer said.
The duo, along with Subhendu’s driver Santu Sardar, reached Sandeshkhali by evening and met Ranjit and another villager, Bablu Jana. “They buried the body around midnight, ” the officer said.
Subhendu allegedly used various telephone numbers to threaten Rajatsubhra’s daughter and wife over the phone for lodging a complaint. Outwardly, he pretended to be a sympathiser. “Subhendu had even accompanied me to the police station to enquire about the progress of the investigation,” Rajatsubhra’s daughter said.
Subhendu was first interrogated last weekend but he didn’t confess to the crime until Monday. He was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Howrah, on Tuesday along with his alleged accomplices. All five were remanded in police custody for 10 days.