“Sujoy, amaar saathe tumi erokom korte paro na (Sujoy, you can’t do this to me).” The last words spoken by a woman in her mid-20s, before she was strangled to death with her dupatta.
The yet-to-be-identified woman was found dead on the Maidan, opposite the SAIL building, late on Sunday.
The killer — the needle of suspicion points firmly at “Sujoy” — spent nearly half-an-hour in the park under construction, from where the body was retrieved, according to police.
But then he disappeared without a trace, leaving the cops clueless till late on Monday.
“This is a curious case where we, apparently, know the killer’s name but not the victim’s. The last words that the victim shouted out is the solitary clue that we are working on,” said Asish Sengupta, officer-in-charge (OC) of Maidan police station.
It was around 10.30 pm when the victim and “Sujoy” were spotted by Basudeb Sarkar, a security guard with Metro Railway’s cooling station, taking the narrow path opposite the SAIL address into the Book Fair grounds, off Chowringhee.
“It was dark and I could not see them clearly, but I could hear them quarrelling… They took a left turn and disappeared behind a pile of earth. I did not pay much heed to them, as couples come to the spot regularly,” Basudeb told police.
Basudeb overheard the woman’s voice as they quarrelled long and loud. “The woman even cried out, requesting ‘Sujoy’ not to hurt her. Even then, I didn’t pay heed, as I thought it was none of my business,” he added.
But then, Basudeb heard the woman’s scream piercing the night air. He immediately ran towards Tata Centre and called out to Sunil Tiwari, superviser of the labourers engaged in the construction of Elliot Park, a joint-venture beautification project of Calcutta Police and Tata Group.
Tiwari rushed to the park and alerted the three policemen deployed there. Torchlights flashing, they then went on an inspection drive.
In the north-west corner lay the woman, with the dupatta tied tight around her neck.
The victim’s clothes bore marks of a struggle. There was no one else in sight.
Officials from Maidan police station had, by then, reached the spot. “They are sure that she is not a resident of their area. But neither is there any suggestion of her being from outside the city. We have alerted Park Street, Karaya, Bhowanipore and other adjoining police stations,” said OC Sengupta.