| Sera Sanyal: Mystery death. Picture by Gopal Senapati
Just a week after her marriage, Sera Sanyal, 26, was found dead in her Howrah home early on Wednesday. Her mother Krishna Sanyal spotted her lying unconscious in her room and raised an alarm.
“Sera was taken to Howrah General Hospital, where the doctors declared her dead. We have started an inquiry and are waiting for the post-mortem report,” said Neeraj Kumar Singh, the superintendent of police (Howrah).
Based on a complaint by Sera’s mother, the police have picked up her husband Pratap Bhattacharya and his brother Prabhat. Sera’s elder sister Suparna and her husband Rathindranath Mukherjee have been detained.
“There were a lot of problems on the wedding day. Midway through the ceremony, the groom left with her and completed the rituals at a temple near his Andul home,” said Debasish Chakraborti, a neighbour of the Sanyal family in Choudhurypara First Bylane.
But the problems did not end there, as Sera returned to her mother five days after her marriage.
Prashanta Bhattacharya, Prabhat’s father, said no one in his family had misbehaved with Sera.
“We are investigating whether she faced any torture at her in-laws’ place,” said an officer of Shibpur police station, adding that some members of the Sanyal family are also under the scanner.
The one-storeyed Sanyal home, which got a fresh coat of paint only last month, was under lock and key on Wednesday evening. Outside, neighbours were discussing how Sera’s life took a tragic turn after she lost her father five years ago. Most pointed an accusing finger at her brother-in-law Rathindranath.
“Sera’s mother had given him around Rs 3 lakh to organise her wedding. But he did not make the payments and that sparked the trouble,” said neighbour Shankar Choudhuri.
Kaushik Paul, the caterer at the wedding, told Metro: “He (Rathindranath) paid me the full amount, Rs 70,000, by cheque on the day of the wedding. But the cheque bounced because of insufficient funds in his account. So, I could not make proper arrangements for the guests.”
According to the neighbours, the groom’s family was upset with the food offered. They were also shocked when some men stormed the marriage hall and took away the dowry furniture.
“Rathindranath had bought a bed, an almirah and a dressing table for the newly-weds. But as he did not pay us by November 21, we took the items away,” said a representative of Paul Furniture.
Rathindranath denied the charges. “These are baseless allegations. I had made all the payments,” he told Metro.