The body of Rajatsubhra Mukherjee, a Shibpur resident who was allegedly killed by his distant relative Subhendu Dey on May 23, was exhumed on Wednesday from the edge of a pond at a North 24-Parganas village, around 80km from Howrah.
Dey, four other accused persons, members of the Mukherjee’s family, police officers from Howrah and North 24-Parganas and a judicial magistrate from a Basirhat court were present during the exhumation at Haatgachi in Hingalgunge.
Ranjit Maity, the maternal uncle of Gautam Shaw, who is the manager of Dey’s garment factory, is from Haatgachi.
Dey, a married man with a five-year-old daughter, was arrested on Monday evening and based on his confession, the four others were rounded up.
Police said Dey had sought to marry Mukherjee’s daughter, a MCom final-year student, hiding his marital status.
“He hatched a plot with Shaw to kill Mukherjee after he declined the marriage proposal. They asked Maity to find a suitable spot to hide the body. The uncle took fellow villager Bablu Jana’s help and the body was buried in the early hours of May 24,” said an investigating officer.
The prime accused had allegedly offered Mukherjee a lift in his Tata Indica near Mullick Fatak while he was on his way from his Shibpur home to his Strand Road office. Manager Shaw was in the front seat along with driver Santu Sardar, police said.
An officer said Dey had allegedly offered Mukherjee a drink spiked with sedatives. “When he fell unconscious, he was strangulated with a piece of rope. We are trying to recover the rope and the container in which the sedative-laced drink was served,” the officer added.
The police said Maity led the exhumation team to the spot on Wednesday.
Mukherjee’s daughter identified the body, which was later sent for autopsy.