The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Daughter detected in gallery of dead

Calcutta, Aug. 11: Abhimanyu Debnath would have liked to believe that his daughter, Mina, had run away from her in-laws, allegedly tortured and harangued for not bearing a child during her marriage of eight years.

Instead, he received a rude shock when he spotted Mina’s photograph at the gallery of images of unclaimed bodies put up at the Kakdwip police station in South 24-Parganas last Thursday. Debnath had been to the police station on some personal work but a casual look at the board changed his life.

Residents of a village in the district had spotted the body. Mina, 26, was cremated after the police failed to trace her relatives and no one identified her. The face was photographed and it was pinned along with other portraits on a bulletin board.

When the father told the police at the station house that the picture on the board was that of his missing daughter, the officer-in-charge ordered an inquiry. Sambhu Mondal was arrested yesterday for murdering his wife.

The police said he has confessed to the crime.

The Debnaths of Baliara at Namkhana in the district had tried to trace their daughter for three months. Repeated requests to the in-laws and complaints to police stations fetched no result.

Eight years ago, Mina was married to Sambhu, a trader in Kakdwip. The relationship turned sour as the couple failed to have a child. Mina was said to be tortured and abused by her husband and in-laws.

Unable to bear the agony, Mina decided to return to her parents on May 3. Two days later, Sambhu came over and took her back with the promise that she will not be illtreated anymore. Moreover, he told his in-laws that he had settled for a happy life even without a child.

After that, Mina went missing. When Debnath went to Sambhu’s house to meet his daughter, he was told she had run away. The father then lodged a complaint with the police saying his daughter was missing.

On August 7, Debnath turned up at the police station for some personal work. He chanced upon the bulletin board and recognised Mina.

“He was weeping inconsolably. We did not know what was wrong. He later said what it was,” said Rabindra Nath Ghosh, a policeman.

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