A girl returned from school to her Kestopur flat on Monday afternoon to find her 45-year-old mother lying dead. The woman’s throat was slit and there were stab wounds on the body and slashes on her hands.
Police said after a preliminary probe that the murder was not for gain because the gold ornaments Soma Ghosh was wearing were intact. A pillow, a rolling pin and pieces of broken teacups were found beside the body on the dining room floor.
“It appears the assassin was known to the victim. Robbing the apartment was not the murder motive,” said Santosh Nimbalkar, additional deputy commissioner of police, Bidhannagar commissionerate. “It seems the woman was murdered between 1pm and 3pm, when the building guard goes for lunch, leaving the ground-floor gate unmanned.”
The police have detained Soma’s husband Sujit Ghosh, who had worked for Saradha and started a business of supplying printing materials after the closure of the group.
“We are also examining a woman friend of the victim, who was supposed to visit the Kestopur flat in the afternoon but didn’t turn up,” said an officer of Baguiati police station.
The murder was detected when the couple’s daughter, Sayani, a Class XII student, returned home around 3pm.
“She found the collapsible gate of the third-floor apartment unlocked and the wooden door ajar. On entering the apartment she saw her mother lying on her back and blood on the floor,” said an officer.
The girl ran out and alerted the guard and called up her father. Sujit came home around 4.30pm. The police went to the spot on receiving a call from a neighbour.
“There was not much blood on the floor. We suspect the killer first smothered the woman with the pillow and then slit her throat and stabbed her. She was also hit on the back of her head, probably by the rolling pin,” said an officer.
“The broken tea cups suggest the victim gave a fight. We have come to know that a kitchen knife is missing. The killer might have used the knife to slit the victim’s throat and stab her.”
“The family has been living in the two-bedroom flat for 14 years,” said Soma Das, a next-door neighbour. “We never heard the couple fight. They always seemed happy.”
Sarmistha Mukherjee, who lives on the second floor, said she had heard a thud around 2.30pm. “The family’s apartment floor is the roof of my flat. I heard the noise, but didn’t suspect anything wrong,” she said.
Sources at Baguiati police station said the assassin took advantage of the guard’s absence for two hours.
“From 8am, the guard sits in front of the ground-floor entrance on a stool and keeps an eye on those entering the building. Around 1pm, he leaves for lunch and returns around 3pm. All the residents of the building have duplicate keys and they use it when the guard is not present. In the guard’s absence, the ground-floor gate mostly remains open,” said Gopal Das, a resident of the building.
Taraknath Burman, 50, a mason, died in Howrah on Monday after he fell from the second floor of a house in Ishwar Dutta Lane of Shibpur where he was working.
Man shot at
Shukla Sahu, 25, an electrician, was shot at allegedly by Raja Yadav, 26, a building material supplier, during a drunken brawl at Bediadanga in Kasba on Monday. The bullet scraped Sahu’s chest. He received 10 stitches at SSKM. Yadav was seriously injured after the country-made gun burst in his palm. He was arrested and taken to Fortis Hospital.