A bank manager in West Bengal was arrested on charges of murder on Saturday, after he was caught red-handed while dumping in a river three trolley bags containing body parts of a woman with whom he had an extra-marital affair and her five-year-old daughter.
Samaresh Sarkar, the 47-year-old manager of a Central Bank of India branch in Durgapur - a town about 170km from Kolkata, dumped the bags in the Hooghly river from a boat in full public view on the suburbs of the state capital. The case, which came at a time the grisly murder of Sheena Bora is in the news, has stunned police.
"Sarkar chopped up the body of the woman into three pieces and kept them in three trolley bags. We found the upper and lower parts of her body in two bags, but could not find the head of the woman and the body of the child. We have deployed a team of eight divers to trace it (the third bag)," a senior police official told HT.
For his part, Sarkar, a father of two, told police the woman killed herself and the minor on Friday after he refused to marry her. Refuting Sarkar's claim, police charged him with sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.
"Sarkar thought he will quietly dump the bodies into a watery grave and then slip back home as if nothing had happened," said a police officer.
Sarkar told police the victim was 34-year-old Sucheta Chakraborty, a customer of the branch where he was the manager. He was involved in an affair with Chakraborty, who was separated from her husband. She lived in Durgapur with her five-year-old daughter.
Sarkar also told police Chakraborty was mounting pressure on him to marry her. Sarkar is married and has two daughters. His family stays in Titagarh in North 24-Parganas. Sarkar said when he visited the residence of Chakraborty on Friday afternoon, she demanded that he should marry her without any delay.
"He claimed that Chakraborty drowned her daughter in a cistern in a fit of rage and the child died within minutes. When she found that Sarkar was still not ready to marry her, she grabbed a knife and slit her throat. The theory appeared highly unlikely," a police officer said.
Police suspect Sarkar brought the bags by train from Durgapur to Sheoraphuli, and then he hired a porter for Rs 100 who took the bags to the ferry ghat. This is the route he frequently used to return to his home in Titagarh, which is just a train station away from Barrackpore ferry ghat on Kolkata's suburbs. He had planned to deboard there.
But, the boatman accosted Sarkar after he spotted him throwing away the bags. The boatman also telephoned police and alerted them. When the boatman questioned him, Sarkar reportedly tried to hoodwink him by saying the bags contained papers and documents he did not need any more.