Mithu Halder had contacted daily wage earners Bapi Mondal and Zahir Gazi and offered them money to work for her. Mondal and Gazi had lost a steady source of income during the pandemic, police said.
Bapi and Zahir were neighbours of Mithu in Naiyapara and Ramrampur in Diamond Harbour, said the police probing the twin murders of Subir Chaki, managing director, Kilburn Engineering Ltd, and his driver Rabin Mondal.
Bapi, 27, and Zahir, 25, were arrested after their interrogation at the police headquarters in Lalbazar on Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, they were produced before Alipore court and remanded in police custody till November 5.
Chaki, 61 and Mondal, 65, were found murdered at the former’s ancestral house on Kankulia Road near Gol Park on Sunday night.
Chaki had wanted to sell the property and met Mithu’s son Vicky and his associates, including Bapi and Zahir, at the house for that reason, said the police.
Mithu was arrested in Diamond Harbour on Wednesday.
After interrogating Mithu and the two youths, officers have learnt that the former had inquired about Bapi and Zahir’s source of income weeks before Puja. Mithu had told them they could earn hefty amounts — a few thousands a day — if they worked for her.
When Bapi and Zahir agreed, they were asked to turn up at Ballygunge station on Sunday afternoon and meet Vicky, Mithu’s elder son.
“Mithu had arranged for Bapi and Zahir’s train tickets and had asked them to wait at Ballygunge station for Vicky. Two other youths were also there. Vicky had led the team of four as they walked to Chaki’s house on Sunday afternoon,” said a senior officer.
“Mithu had waited near Ballygunge station.”
The police have learnt that Bapi worked as an assistant to a mason while Zahir was a van rickshaw puller ferrying building construction material around Naiyapara.
Both had lost out on their monthly income during the pandemic and the lockdowns and were keen on making quick money.
Mithu lured them, promising fast money if they worked according to her plan, the police said.
After the twin murders were committed on Sunday, Vicky returned to the under-construction site on Fern Road where he worked as a site supervisor, while the four others headed to Diamond Harbour on a suburban train from Ballygunge station.
Around 8pm, Bapi and Gazi reached their homes, the police have learnt. The next morning, Mithu met Vicky in Ballygunge where he handed over a plastic bag containing his blood stained shirt.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the gang that entered Chaki’s house had robbed him of a gold ring, some money and cards.
“It appears that no payments were made to any of the four members of the gang after the murders were executed. We are still trying to find out the exact motive behind the murders,” the officer said.
Since the murders came to light, Vicky has been untraceable.
The police believe he was carrying the money he had robbed and was frequently changing locations.
Interrogations of Bapi and Zahir revealed that they, too, had moved out of their Diamond Harbour homes on Tuesday and taken shelter at G-plot in Pathar Pratima in the coastal belt of South 24-Parganas.
A team of officers from the detective department of Calcutta police who had been tracking the two reached Pathar Pratima on Thursday night. The team brought them to Lalbazar on Friday where, after prolonged interrogation, they were arrested.