Police have prepared a sketch of a short and dark man who was apparently seen entering the flat of Kestopur homemaker Soma Ghosh around a couple of hours before her body was found on Monday.
A neighbour who the police have refused to identify has claimed to have seen a man in his mid-30s standing outside Ghosh’s third-floor flat around noon.
“The woman said he asked the man who he was looking for. He allegedly fumbled but named Sujit, the victim’s husband. The neighbour then pointed Ghosh’s flat to him,” said an officer of Baguiati police station.
“The man allegedly rang the bell of Ghosh’s apartment. The neighbour said the homemaker opened the door and was surprised to see the man. She, however, let him in.”
The neighbour was leaving for office when he allegedly noticed the man. She came to know about the murder after returning from work on Monday evening. Later at night she went to the police station and got her statement recorded.
Between Monday night and Tuesday evening, the police showed her a number of photographs of criminals based on her description of the man. “She did not identify any of the photographs as that of the man who she said had come to the victim’s apartment around Monday noon,” the officer said.
Ghosh, 45, was found murdered inside her flat at Prafulla Kanan in Kestopur after her 17-year-old girl returned home from school around 3pm. Her throat was slit and there were multiple stab wounds on her chest and slashes on her hands.
Police said after a preliminary probe that the murder was not for gain because the gold ornaments Ghosh was wearing were intact. A pillow, a rolling pin and pieces of broken teacups were found beside the body on the dining room floor.
According to the preliminary post-mortem report that came on Tuesday, a doctor said the woman was murdered between noon and 2pm. She was first suffocated and then her throat was slit.
“The murder looks like the handiwork of a professional criminal. We have got some clues and hope to solve the case soon,” said Santosh Nimbalkara, the additional deputy commissioner of police, Bidhannagar commissionerate.
The sleuths investigating the case said the victim’s cellphone had gone missing.
“The phone is switched off. We are trying to get the call list from the mobile service provider. The list will give us an idea about the persons with whom the victim interacted frequently,” said an officer.
The sleuths have also come to know that the family has been undergoing financial distress since the victim’s husband lost his job over a year ago. Sujit used to work in Saradha’s printing unit and started a business of supplying printing materials after the closure of the group.
“The business was not fetching him good money,” said an investigating officer.
“The woman had mortgaged many of her ornaments in the past year to a gold loan firm to meet the family expenses and fund her girl’s education,” said an officer.
The police have questioned Sujit for several hours since Monday and a friend of the victim who lives a few blocks away and used to frequent the Ghosh apartment.