Monday, 30th October 2017

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Woman named ‘suspects’ in diary

Jottings suggest Jodhpur Park victim feared five persons were plotting her murder

By Monalisa Chaudhuri in Calcutta
  • Published 6.04.19, 3:58 AM
  • Updated 6.04.19, 3:58 AM
  • 2 mins read
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The apartment (circled) in Jodhpur Park where the woman was found dead on Thursday Picture by Gautam Bose

Shyamali Ghosh, the 75-year-old woman who was found murdered in her Jodhpur Park apartment on Thursday morning, was fearing for her life and suspected that a few people she knew were plotting her murder, police sources said on Friday.

Investigators have seized from Ghosh’s apartment a diary that apparently belonged to her. Apart from daily expenses, the diary had an entry naming five persons who the woman apparently thought could kill her.

One of the five names is that of a woman.

“The woman had purportedly written on one page that if she met unnatural death or was murdered, these five persons should be held responsible,” an officer said.

Officers in the homicide department of Lalbazar said they would send the diary to handwriting experts to find out whether the entries were Ghosh’s.

The woman’s decomposed body was found in one of the three bedrooms of the 3,000sq ft apartment, on the third floor of a five-storeyed building, on Thursday morning.

The other floors are owned by a family that lives on the top floor.

Ghosh, a spinster, had been living alone in the apartment since the death of her mother a few years ago. Her father had died long ago.

Repeated calls made to Ghosh’s phone had gone unanswered, prompting a man who lives on the fourth floor to alert her sister and brother-in-law, who live on Amherst Street in central Calcutta.

Police entered the flat after the sister opened the door with a duplicate key and found the body on a bed.

A sandwich which Ghosh possibly planned to have for breakfast was found intact in the kitchen, making the cops suspect that she was killed before breakfast.

“The post-mortem report suggests her stomach was empty. Which suggests she was killed before breakfast,” said an officer.

Sleuths came to know that neighbours had last seen Ghosh on the afternoon of April 2. That has made them suspect that she was killed the next morning.

An entry in the diary suggests the woman had hired a plumber for some repairs in a bathroom.

“It is, however, not clear whether the plumber had already visited the house,” the officer.

The last entry was related to a payment of Rs 100 for buying nitric acid.

As there was no mark of break-in, the sleuths suspect the attacker was known to the victim.

The post-mortem report suggests Ghosh was strangulated with a piece of cloth and then smothered with a pillow. There was an injury on the back of her head, which was possibly caused by a fall.

Officers from Lake police station and the homicide department of Lalbazar have questioned the gardener of the building and also the guard who was on duty on Wednesday morning.