Investigations into the murder of an 80-year-old woman reached a dead end on Saturday as the police failed to deduce the motive behind the killing even after 24 hours. A team of five officers could only track the escape route of the assassin after working on the case through the day.
Niharbala Bhattacharya was found dead at her Amherst Street residence on Friday evening. On returning home, Niharbala’s daughter, Anjali, found her mother lying on the floor with her hands and feet tied. A gold chain was also missing. Niharbala was rushed to Nilratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital where doctors pronounced her “brought dead”. Preliminary investigations revealed strangulation marks on the victim’s neck.
“No one has been arrested. What had triggered the murder is still not clear to us. But some leads have emerged and our officers are working on those lines,” said a senior police official.
A sniffer dog was pressed into service on Friday night. “After checking all the routes the dog took, we concluded that the killer went to Sealdah station and left the city by train,” sources said. The dog had halted briefly at the murder spot and then went straight to Chhabighar cinema on MG Road.
“We followed her down Mirzafar Street and came in front of Jagat cinema on APC Road. The dog paused there for over 20 minutes and then started running towards Sealdah station,” said an official.
“We first went to the Sealdah south section, and then to the main section, following the dog. But she could not proceed any further from there. The killer could have boarded a train from the Sealdah main section,” he added.