iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Howrah, October 05, 2012
The initial tip-off by the victim’s daughter, tracking of cellphone and a bank transaction of Rs. 2 lakh from the key suspect to an accomplice helped Howrah city police to crack the eight-day old parcel bomb case that killed Andul human rights activist Chaitali Santra and sent shock waves through the state simply the manner in which the crime was committed.

Two suspects arrested in Howrah.

According to police commissioner Ajey Ranade, mechanical engineer Debasish Dey and a neighbour of Chaitali, nursed a grievance against her when she tried to mediate when his marriage hit choppy waters.

Dey’s wife slapped a harassment case against her husband and Debasish was jailed last year.

Dey met Subhankar Das in jail, while he was doing time for torturing his wife. According to the police, Dey paid Rs. 2 lakh to Das for putting together an improvised explosive device (parcel bomb) that killed Santra on September 26. “The plot was hatched in jail,” said Ranade. Both later got bail.

Das has a factory in Liluah and hired Abhisek Roy and Biswajit Majhi, as accomplices. According to the police, Das hired Majhi to improvise the deadly device.

By this time, Sen left Bengal and joined a company in Chennai. “After preparing the bomb, which was activated with the help of a cell phone, Das rigged the bomb in a parcel and got Roy to deliver it to Santra , who posed as a courier agent. The police caught on to the plot when the victim’s daughter supplied them with Dey’s cellphone number. After getting the number, the cops got the call details.

“We saw that Dey talked to a particular person in Howrah several times prior to the incident. We started our investigations and found that the number belonged to Das, who was in jail with him. Coincidentally both were accused of torturing their wife,” said a police officer.

Later police came to know that Dey transferred money to Das. The police picked up Das from his home in Liluah and he confessed his role in the plot. Roy and Majhi were also nabbed.

An officer of the Howrah DD said that Dey came to Howrah to make sure that Santra had been killed. However, Sen after his arrest at Ratnagiri, where his company had transferred him, denied any connection with the murder.

“He said that Santra with a section of people beat up his mother and elder sister on the basis of his wife’s complaint,” said an officer. A team of Howrah city police has left for Maharashtra to bring back Sen in transit remand.

The first parcel bomb death in the state took place in April 2011 when schoolteacher Aparna Biswas of Malda district was killed.