Barasat, Dec. 4: Two children, aged between three and five years, were found dead under mysterious circumstances at Amdanga near Barasat, near Calcutta, early this morning.
The bodies have put police officials in a tizzy with a day-long effort to establish the identities of the deceased proving abortive. The children were wearing costly winter garments, police said.
As the news spread, residents of the area rushed to the spot, forcing the police to cordon off the area. A police picket has also been posted at the spot.
Police suspect that the children were murdered. 'There were no external injury marks on the bodies that can show the cause of the deaths. But other evidence collected from the spot where the bodies were found indicate that it was a gruesome killing,' said the North 24-Parganas superintendent of police, Parveen Kumar.
'It seems that the two boys were strangled or suffocated to death elsewhere and their bodies were dumped here in the early hours. Though we have checked with the local people, nobody has come forward to identify the bodies till late this afternoon,' he said.
The bodies were first spotted by the people of the locality around 6.30 am.
'We first saw the younger one under a culvert on the Habra-Naihati Road. Initially, we thought the child had become unconscious after falling into the drain from the culvert. But when we went closer, we realised that the children were dead. Both the bodies were cold and stiff,' said Sudhin Ghosh, a resident of nearby Shikira village.
Senior officials rushed to the spot on being told about the bodies by residents of the area.
'There were some external scratch marks on the bodies. Deep wounds were found on the throat of the older deceased. These could have been caused by crab bites. When police rushed to the spot, they found crabs crawling on the bodies,' said the sub-divisional police officer of Barasat, Subhankar Chatterjee.
'It seems the bodies were thrown into the drain from the road. It is clear that there was no footprint near where the bodies are lying. The assassins might have come in a car, dumped the bodies and fled either towards Habra or Naihati,' Chatterjee said.
However, police are banking on the clothes worn by the children for clues. 'The quality of the clothes they were wearing indicates that the victims are not from poor families. They might belong to a middle-class family. However, we are examining the clothes thoroughly to collect some clues,' said Kumar.
An official working on this case said: 'The two might have witnessed a serious crime and identified the miscreants. We are also not ruling out the possibility of family dispute leading to the killings.'