An alleged tutor-student romance ended in tragedy over the weekend with the murder of one and the suicide of the other.
Anushree Pal, 19, was found dead in the coaching centre of Kuntal Ghosh Dastidar, 35, late on Monday, the day after he was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his bedroom.
Anushree’s decomposed body bore strangulation marks and head injuries, suggesting that she had been slammed against the floor or a bench.
“It appears that he had killed the girl on Saturday evening in the coaching centre and then hanged himself,” said the additional superintendent of police (industrial) of South 24-Parganas, Sunil Kumar Chaudhuri.
Police said the second-year physics honours student of Basanti Devi College knew Kuntal, an electrical engineer from Jadavpur University, for the past three years.
Anushree lived with her family in Subhash Park of Sonarpur, while Kuntal lived alone in a rented house near Garia station.
His coaching centre was a little distance away in Narkelbagan of Garia. His estranged wife Leela lives in Usha near Bansdroni.
On Monday night, landlady Manjushree Joardar detected a stench coming from the room she had rented out to Kuntal for his coaching centre two-and-a-half years ago.
She alerted some neighbours who called Regent Park police station.
When the lock was broken open, the police found the decomposed body of Anushree lying on the ground at one end of the room.
“She was wearing a salwar kameez. There were marks on her arms, which could either be cigarette burns or blood clots because of decomposition,” Chaudhuri said on Tuesday. “An unsigned note was found in the room.... It proves that the student and the tutor were having an affair,” he added.
Doctors performing the post-mortem on Anushree claimed the death was caused by “severe injuries” after the “head was dashed repeatedly on a hard, flat surface”. She had died roughly 72 hours before the post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday evening.
Doctors performing the post-mortem on Kuntal said it was “a clear case of hanging”.
Kuntal was found dead on Sunday afternoon. “He had introduced himself as a bachelor when he moved in as a tenant this January,” said Shyamalee Roy, his landlady at 79 Ananda Abasan.
“On Sunday, when there was no sign of him till noon, I got worried and called in some neighbours. They alerted Sonarpur police station. The door was opened and he was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the bedroom,” she added.
Kuntal was last seen by Manjushree Joardar leaving the coaching centre around 8pm on Saturday. The centre remained shut on Sundays and Mondays.
“On Monday, a woman came to me and introduced herself as Kuntal’s wife Leela. She said he had committed suicide. She requested me not to get the coaching centre opened as there were some important papers inside which she would retrieve later. Before leaving she also told me that they were separated and legal proceedings for divorce were underway,” she said.
The police said Kuntal had separated from his wife after getting involved with Anushree. Debraj Pal, a cousin of Anushree, said: “She studied physics from Kuntal in Class XII, but my uncle (Anushree’s father Ajoy Pal, an accountant now posted in Asansol) did not approve of their proximity and stopped her tuitions.”
But after she got into college, Anushree would regularly go to Kuntal’s coaching centre to study physics.
Landlady Joardar described Kuntal as “a polite young man and a popular teacher with lots of students” while a family friend of the Pals described Anushree as a “bright, good-looking but reclusive girl”.