The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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No clue yet on Dumka girl’s death

Mumbai, May 15: Koushambi Layek loved watching detective serials. Today, Mumbai police are trying to solve the mystery behind the 24-year-old’s murder.

The Tata Consultancy Services engineer, who hailed from Dumka (Jharkhand) and stayed in Borivli, was found dead in a hotel with two bullet wounds — on the forehead and neck — yesterday.

She had checked into the honeymoon suite of Hotel Sun and Sheen with Manish Thakur, a naval officer.

Thakur, now missing, had registered their names in the hotel as Mr and Mrs Thakur.

“In the hotel register, he wrote he was from Calcutta. He told us that he got married to Koushambi recently. The two were supposed to check out on Monday afternoon,” said R.B. Singh, general manager of the Andheri hotel.

On Monday, “the room service assistant got no response despite repeated knocks on the door and phone calls”, Singh said. “When we opened the door with a spare key, we saw her lying in a pool of blood.

Manager Singh said: “Thakur was seen for the last time with Koushambi at midnight on Sunday, when the room service assistant delivered dinner.”

“We have spoken to some of her (Koushambi’s) relatives but, unfortunately, they have not been able to throw any light on the relationship between her and Manish,” said the police.

Thakur’s cousin Ashwani Anand, however, confirmed that the 28-year-old is a resident of Calcutta and that he is in the Indian Navy.

In Dumka, Koushambi’s mother Ranjana Devi, a widow, runs a typing institute.

Koushambi, who graduated from S.P. College, Dumka, did her MCA from BIT, Sindri before leaving for Mumbai in 2005.

The police are drawing up Thakur’s sketch from the description given by the staff of Hotel Sun and Sheen.

They suspect Koushambi was gagged before being shot.

An officer probing the case said the couple had booked into different hotels in the vicinity of Hotel Sun and Sheen in the past. Each time, Thakur had used his own name and mentioned Calcutta as the city he hails from.

Some of Thakur’s friends described him as “friendly” and “helpful”, saying that they could not believe he could be involved in a murder. Koushambi, too, was all praise in a testimonial she had written for Thakur on Orkut, the popular networking site. “He’s a really caring and loving guy,” it read.

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