Children playing football in Nischinda, a semi-urban pocket off Bally in Howrah, found on Tuesday afternoon the decomposed body of a 30-year-old woman in a bush abutting their playground.
The woman, a resident of the area, has been missing for the past six days. Her husband was away when she went missing, said police.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the woman was sexually assaulted and strangled. The body bore marks of acid burns and had turned black.
“It appears that the body was hidden somewhere and brought to the spot in Nischinda a day or two ago. Had it been lying here for long, the stench would have been stronger and drawn attention much earlier,” said a senior police officer. The spot where the body was found is nearly a kilometre from the Rajchandrapur toll plaza on NH-2.
The police said the woman’s husband had gone to Burdwan on June 4 to meet one of his relatives, leaving his wife alone at home. He returned the same night but couldn’t find his wife.
“I returned from Burdwan around 8pm and was surprised not to find her at home. She never goes out without informing me. I waited the whole night for her but she did not return. The next day I lodged a missing diary with Nischinda police station,” the husband said.
In his complaint, the husband has named three men as suspects. The police have detained one of them while the other two are absconding.
It has been alleged that the detained man used to visit the couple often.
“It seems the woman was murdered at least five to six days ago and that the crime involves more than one person,” said an officer at Nischinda police station. “The body has been sent for post-mortem to confirm the sexual assault and the cause of death,” said Nishat Pervez, the deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Howrah city police.
Three men were killed, including two students, after an SUV overturned on Kalyani Expressway near Ichhapore on Monday night. In another accident on the expressway, a retired Texmaco employee was killed near Parthapur after a biker hit his bicycle.