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Two men & a body on a bike
- Taken for a ride by lover, in death as in life
DUBIOUS BAR DATE
MORBID MISSION
HUNT FOR HIDEOUT
CAUGHT BY CROWD
Graphic: Prabal Biswas

A man looking for a place to dump his lover’s body after allegedly poisoning her rode around town for an hour on his motorcycle with the victim strategically “seated” between him and another person riding pillion.

Beautician Gauri Bagal, 22, became unconscious while having a drink with her married lover — 30-year-old jeweller Pintu Pal — in a bar off Kona Expressway around 6.45pm on Holi.

Pintu, who is suspected to have spiked Gauri’s drink, presumed she was already dead and sought a friend’s help to get rid of the body. According to investigators, they went to several places with the girl slouched between them on the motorcycle seat but didn’t find a “safe” location.

The duo finally headed for Garfa Sitalatala, in Howrah, where residents spotted Gauri — a familiar face in the locality — almost falling off the motorcycle seat as she rode into the para wedged between Pintu and the other person around 7.45pm on Wednesday.

Jugal Malik, a member of a local club, told Metro that he saw the motorcycle stop in front of the house of Tumpa Sil, an employee of Gauri’s beauty parlour in Uttar Bakshara, and the two men carry her inside.

“I sensed something was wrong and followed them. The girl looked pale and I spotted froth on her mouth. We confronted Pintu and called in a doctor. The doctor who examined her said she had died around an hour ago,” said Malik.

Pintu’s friend, identified as Potla, slipped out of the house during the commotion but Jugal and other club members prevented Pintu from fleeing.

A police team arrived a little later and took Gauri to Howrah District Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A preliminary report by the doctor on duty suggested she had died around 10 minutes before reaching hospital and not much earlier, as indicated by the private medical practitioner who had examined her in Tumpa Sil’s house.

Pintu, who owns a small jewellery shop in Kona, has been arrested and charged under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

Gauri’s mother Taraki however accused Pintu of premeditated murder. “He used to fleece my daughter and assault her whenever she refused to give him money. Gauri didn’t even know he was married until recently. He killed her because she had started standing up to him,” she alleged.

“We are awaiting the post-mortem report. Whether the accused had plotted murder will be known only after we get the report and probe the case more,” an officer said.

Pintu has been remanded in judicial custody for 12 days. The police have found Potla’s address but he is absconding.

Gauri Bagal

Neighbours of the Bagal family, comprising Taraki and her four children, said they had seen Pintu visiting the Uttar Bakshara home regularly over the past two years and knew him as Gauri’s boyfriend. But nobody seemed to be aware he was married.

Gauri had left home around 6pm on Wednesday evening, telling her mother that she would be with Pintu. “There are several seedy bars along Kona Expressway and they may have been in any one of those,” said an investigator.

Gauri, the youngest of the four Bagal siblings — she had two brothers and a sister — had been doing well for herself since opening the beauty parlour but she would often complain to friends about her abusive boyfriend.

“They would often meet in my house. I had to allow them access to my house because Gauri was my employer. But I knew that the relationship was troubled,” said Tumpa Sil.

The motorcycle Pintu was riding on Wednesday evening was partly financed by Gauri, a common acquaintance said. “They had a big fight before Gauri agreed to give him the money. This actually used to be a regular affair.”

Pintu’s wife was unavailable for comment. The couple have two children.

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