Calcutta, Feb. 14: The search for Arvind Bhai, the person who led the team that pulled off Roma Jhawar's kidnap, ended today with police declaring he had been killed by abduction mastermind Gunjan Ghosh in a fight over ransom.
The police have also found an unclaimed body with a gunshot wound.
'Arvind was shot dead by Gunjan on the day of the abduction (February 4), shortly after the ransom had been paid, over the distribution of the money,' deputy inspector-general of police (operations) of the CID, Rajeev Kumar, claimed.
The police said an associate of Pappu, one of the kidnappers still absconding, told them as much during interrogation. Pappu told the associate about the killing before making off to an unknown place.
The associate ' whose identity the police refused to disclose ' said that soon after the ransom was paid and Roma was yet to return home, Gunjan and Arvind began discussing how the 'booty' would be split in Gunjan's car in the Phoolbagan area. Arvind apparently asked for Rs 10 lakh ' of the over Rs 20 lakh ransom ' which Gunjan did not agree to.
'Gunjan told us he had masterminded the kidnap, that he had driven around everyone in his Maruti Omni and had kept Roma at his friend's home in Sodepur,' said additional director-general of the CID, R.K. Mohanty.
'So he felt what Arvind was asking for was unreasonable. Some argument followed and then Gunjan shot him.'
The police said the bullet pierced Arvind's head from below his left ear lobe and killed him instantly. Gunjan then drove to the nearby Subhas Sarovar, stripped Arvind, burnt all his clothes and other belongings and dumped his naked body in a canal off the EM Bypass near the Science City intersection.
A policeman of the nearby Paroma Investigation Centre, who was on night duty, spotted the body in the early hours of February 5 and sent it for post-mortem to NRS hospital after registering an 'unnatural death' case. After the post-mortem, the body was kept in the morgue as there were no claimants.
After today's disclosure, the police ran a check on all hospital morgues and found an unclaimed body where death was caused by a gunshot. 'We then got some of the others arrested for Roma's kidnapping, like Chander, Bikash and Damodar Yadav, to identify the body. They all said the dead man was Arvind,' Mohanty said.
Gunjan was then summoned for questioning. 'At first, he denied any knowledge of it, saying he was unaware of it but later admitted to it,' said Kumar. 'The other kidnappers have said they had been told of the killing by Gunjan.'
There are no answers, however, why none of the kidnappers told the police about the killing despite being questioned for several days.