A 48-year-old ex-serviceman is suspected to have killed his wife and 19-year-old daughter and then committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving train on Friday, police said.
A police team from the Barrackpore commissionerate identified Gautam Banerjee’s body, found beside railway tracks near Madhyamgram station, from an identity card found on him.
They went to his flat in Dum Dum to inform his family about the death, only to find the bodies of his wife and 19-year-old daughter lying in a pool of blood in a bedroom.
A senior officer of the commissionerate said the team had to break open the
lock of the front door of the first-floor flat as repeated knocks on the door yielded no results.
The apartment is located on Doctor Jiban Ratan Dhar Road in Dum Dum, close to the airport.
“We had gone to inform Banerjee’s wife that he had been found dead along railway tracks. The door was locked and no one opened it even
after repeated knocks. We broke open the lock and found the bodies of his wife and daughter lying in a pool of blood in one of the bedrooms. Their throats had been slit with a sharp object,” said the officer.
According to the officer, a preliminary investigation has revealed that Banerjee had frequent quarrels with wife Debika.
Their daughter Disha, 19, had just started going to college.
“Both their throats had been slit and they had lost a lot of blood. We took them to hospital, where they were declared dead. We have sent all three bodies for post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death,” the officer said.
According to the officer, Banerjee has emerged as the prime suspect in the murder of his wife and daughter.
The front door of their house was locked and neighbours had not spotted anyone entering the flat.
Another investigating officer said they had found a piece of cloth hanging from the ceiling fan in one of the rooms, indicating that Banerjee might have tried to hang himself after slitting the throats of his wife and daughter.
The police team found in the flat a near-empty bottle of alcohol and a lot of prescription medicines that are used to treat anxiety and depression.
“Banerjee jumped in front of a Sealdah-Habra local. We were alerted by the railway
police about the death. We have learnt that Banerjee had been suffering from mental health problems for a long time and was under heavy medication. Neighbours would hear the couple argue almost every other day,” said the officer.
Banerjee’s mother-in-law, Chaya Banerjee, said she had last spoken with her daughter over the phone around midnight on Thursday, said a police officer.
According to Chaya, they had a normal conversation and she had not suspected anything amiss.
“There was nothing to indicate that something was wrong. It is true that they
used to fight, but every couple fight these days. My daughter did not complain of anything unusual the last time I spoke to her,” Chaya said on Friday.
The incident left neighbours shocked.
Several of them said that although Debika would regularly interact with them and was active in events such as Durga Puja, Gautam rarely interacted with others in the locality.