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Jodhpur Park murder arrest

A man who owns almost all of a five-storey building was arrested for allegedly plotting his 75-year-old neighbour's murder

By Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta

  • Published 27.06.19, 2:04 AM
  • Updated 27.06.19, 2:07 AM
The apartment (circled) in Jodhpur Park where the 75-year-old woman was found dead
The apartment (circled) in Jodhpur Park where the 75-year-old woman was found dead (File picture)

A man who owns all but one of the floors of a five-storey Jodhpur Park building has been arrested for allegedly plotting the murder of his 75-year-old neighbour.

Police said Shyamali Ghosh, who was found dead in her 3,000sq ft apartment on the third floor of 141 Jodhpur Park on April 4, paid with her life for resisting Debasish Banerjee’s attempt to buy the flat.

“Had Banerjee succeeded, the entire building would have been his. All other apartments in the building are now owned by him,” an officer said.

Ghosh used to live alone in the apartment and had no help.

“Banerjee, in his mid-50s, was arrested late on Tuesday after we found enough evidence that he had plotted Ghosh’s murder. His partners in crime were his gardener Swapan Mondal, 46, and the building’s guard, Sanjiv Das, 51,” the officer said.

Mondal and Das had been arrested earlier.

A mechanical engineer with a flourishing business, Banerjee is said to have planned to convert the building into a guesthouse and was desperate to take over Ghosh’s apartment to realise his dream.

“The elderly woman refused to sell the apartment, which prompted Banerjee to plot her murder,” the officer said.

“After Ghosh had turned down Banerjee’s offer to buy the flat, his wife slapped the elderly lady one day. There was mounting pressure on the woman to sell the flat.”

The police said Banerjee was among the five persons who Ghosh feared could kill her. She had written the five names in her diary.

“Mondal and Das had hit Shyamali with a pair of tongs and then strangulated her with her sari. Finally, to ensure she was dead, a pillow was pressed on her face,” the officer said.

Mondal used to supply flowers to Ghosh every day, which she would keep in front of the photographs of her dead parents. He would also spray insecticide on flower plots in Ghosh’s flat.

The police said they were yet to find out how much Banerjee had paid the two.

The prime accused owns another house in Jodhpur Park, where his mother lives. “His daughter, who is married, helps him run his business,” another officer said.