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Post-mortem findings show cop 'goof-up'

Southern Avenue: The basics of a police investigation into a case of unnatural death were allegedly disregarded by the cops who had first visited the residence of the 48-year-old doctor found dead in her house around two months ago.

The post-mortem report, which the police received on Thursday, states that Chandreyee Das Chowdhury had been "manually strangulated". Although a murder investigation has now been started, the burden of finding proof to establish the crime and catch the accused would be doubly difficult, according to a senior officer in the detective department.

The officer said the team that probed the circumstances leading to Chandreyee's death in her Keyatala Lane home on May 22 left too many loose ends. The alleged lapses that he pointed out are:

• No item was seized from the room where the body was found.

• Forensic experts were not called in to examine the room.

• Those who took the deceased to hospital without informing the police were not questioned properly.

• Nobody was asked to undergo a medical examination, which was crucial because the post-mortem report mentions "resistance" wounds on the body. This increases the possibility of the killer(s) having injuries as well.

Chandreyee was attached to a home for the elderly and lived with her mother Kalpana and brother Joy on the top floor of their four-storey residence off Southern Avenue. The family members told the police that they found her unresponsive on her bed and took her to SSKM Hospital, where she was declared dead.

In their statement, mother and son said the door to Chandreyee's room had been bolted from inside and that they spotted her lying on the bed through an open window. They opened the latch on the door through a window, the police were told.

The body was cremated after the post-mortem and the bed on which she had been found was burnt. The room has since been repainted.

A team from Rabindra Sarobar police station had visited the four-storey building - the victim's extended family occupies the other floors - after being informed of an unnatural death but they allegedly did not bother sealing the room where the body was found.

"We have come to know that no policeman was present at the time of the post-mortem to seek the surgeon's verbal opinion. In a case of suspected homicide, an officer usually waits for the surgeon who does the post-mortem to give an opinion that could decide the course of the investigation," the police detective said,

"In this case, it appears that these basic steps were not followed because the investigating team suspected the woman died of a cardiac arrest and the post-mortem was just part of routine procedure."

The homicide wing of the detective department interrogated Joy last week but apparently didn't find any new lead.

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