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Suicide whiff in elderly man’s fatal fall

An elderly person was found dead at the base of a 10-storey residential building in Ballygunge, barely a kilometre from his home, on Friday morning.

Police have found no evidence of foul play and suspect Suniti Kumar Bhose, 79, committed suicide by jumping from a height. There are, however, some unanswered questions, said a source.

Bhose, a former employee of the Calcutta Port Trust who later shifted to the Central Inland Water Transport Corporation, had left his Hindustan Road residence at 8.45am. “He told his wife, Dipannita, that he would return soon,” said a family friend.

The police said Bhose had asked his driver to take him to Mainak, a 10-storey apartment on Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue opposite the Birla temple in Ballygunge.

Minutes after he left his car outside the building, he was found lying dead in a pool of blood at the rear of the building in an enclosed area that can be accessed only from the landing on each of the floors of the building.

The terrace is kept locked. He could have fallen from any of the other floors, said a source.

The building’s liftman said he heard a loud thud while passing through the fifth and sixth floors while accompanying a visitor in the lift.

The cops have found out that Bhose had arranged to meet one of his friends, Animesh Sen, who lived on the eighth floor of the building, around 9.30am. “He said he wanted to meet me. I asked him to come around 9-9.15am. But he never turned up,” Sen told Metro.

Police have also questioned Monica Chanda, 71, who lived on the fourth floor of the same building. “He had been a family friend for decades. It is so unusual that he came here but didn’t visit my house. I heard a loud sound around 9.15am but came to know that it was Suniti much later when the police informed me,” said the elderly woman.

“Till now, we haven’t come across anything to suggest foul play. It appears to be a case of suicide,” said a senior Lalbazar officer. “However, we are yet to ascertain what triggered it. We are investigating all angles.”

A police source said some facts were puzzling. “First, if it was a planned suicide, why was there no suicide note? And secondly, why didn’t Bhose meet his friend after saying he would do so?”

Officers of Karaya police station and the homicide department of the detective department also expressed surprise that Bhose had taken the stairs, instead of the lift, because he had a pacemaker installed just a few weeks back.