The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Life lost in love triangle

What started as love ended as a crime of hate.

On Tuesday morning, the body of 19-year-old Papia Sarkar, a second-year economics honours student of Thakurpukur’s Vivekananda College, was found in a field close to her home in nearby Usthi. Her throat was slit. The police said it was a professional job.

When the police started investigating the case, they were clueless. Who would want to murder the daughter of a schoolteacher' By evening, after speaking to a host of neighbours, Papia’s family, her college friends and, most importantly, picking up a few letters and a diary from her cupboard, a clearer picture had emerged. At the root of the “act of hate” lay love, the police declared.

According to the story stitched together by the police, Papia had a childhood love, a boy of her locality, whom she had been seeing for several years. But after joining college, where she made new friends, she fell in love with another boy.

The police believe that Papia did not have the courage to reveal her new love to her other friend and carried on a relationship with both, while keeping both in the dark.

A set of love letters recovered from her home established this, the police said. “The letters we have with us were written to Papia by the two boys around the same time,” said Diamond Harbour’s circle inspector Sahabul Hossain.

Police conjecture is that Papia drifted away from her first friend after joining a city college. “From the contents, it is clear that both boys were in love with her and they did not know about each other. One thing clearly emerges from the letters — her earlier lover was not very educated, his handwriting is bad and his language poor,” Hossain said. “But the college boy’s handwriting is stylish and the contents are thoughtful. Papia was a good student and it seems she was leaning towards the latter.”

Prima facie, the police are inclined to believe that it was a “revenge killing”, after one of the boys found out about Papia’s “dual relationship”.

But the picture will become clearer after the two boys are interrogated. For the moment, both remain untraced.

“We feel that some professionals were employed to carry out the killing, as an amateur could not have executed such an operation,” Hossain said. “It was a very clean job.”

Papia would leave for college every morning at eight and return at eight at night, after attending tutorials. But on Monday, when she did not return till late at night, her parents and relatives launched a search for her.

When this did not yield any results, her father filed a complaint at Usthi police station. Finally, her body was discovered on Tuesday morning.

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