Agartala, Jan. 5: The skeletal remains of a woman were discovered inside a septic tank at Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar's official residence last night, triggering frenzied speculation about a possibly brutal crime at the most famous address in town.
A jittery chief minister instituted a CID probe, but decided to hand over the case to the CBI after consulting colleagues in the Left Front and senior police officials.
The remains ' including the skull and nine bones of the shin, forearms and ribs ' were found when the tank was being cleaned by workers of the Agartala Municipal Council. The septic tank is connected to a toilet close to the house meant for security personnel and other members of the chief minister's staff. The sprawling campus has two buildings and several security sheds.
Sarkar was attending a programme at the Town Hall when the police informed him about the incident. He rushed back home and asked the police to start investigation without delay. The police have registered a suo motu FIR under Section 157.
The skeletal remains and the plastic bangle found on one forearm have been sent to the state forensic laboratory for tests. 'Prima facie evidence indicates the woman was raped to death or murdered after rape,' a source in the laboratory said.
He said the skeleton was 'very old', considering most of it had rotted because of exposure to toxic gas inside the septic tank.
The discovery of the skeletal remains invited a caustic reaction from the Congress, which said merely entrusting the CBI with the investigation was not what was expected of the chief minister.
Describing it as a 'most bizarre and unfortunate' incident, PCC chief Birajit Sinha demanded Sarkar's resignation.
The Congress leader demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting high court judge.