He is overweight but has a listless stare that camouflages his sharp eyes, he used to voraciously devour cheap novels that make up the bottom of Bengali crime fiction, and studied homeopathy before he became a detective.
Meet 47-year-old CID inspector Anandamoy Chatterjee who successfully led the investigation into the gang rape and murder of a 20-year-old student walking home from college in Kamduni near Kolkata in June 2013.
When the court pronounced its verdict, based mainly on evidence provided by Chatterjee and his team, three men were given the death sentence while three more went to jail for life.
The former student of homeopathy still retains his first love. “I still advise friends and colleagues to take homeopathy medicines if they fall ill. It’s a love affair I can’t forget,” Chatterjee told HT on Saturday evening.
“I have done my duty. There is nothing to feel elated about. However, this is the first instance when I have been able to get a death sentence passed,” he said, modestly brushing aside the adulation.
A resident of Naihati, in the northern suburbs of Kolkata, he recalled how his boss, special inspector general of CID Vineet Goel, asked him if he could investigate the Kamduni case. “I told him, ‘If you want, I shall definitely take up the responsibility’.”
Chatterjee is grounded to his humble roots. A rust-coloured, half-sleeve sweater accentuates his paunch, his gait is not sprightly but awkward and he takes a suburban train to office every day.
He lives with his homemaker-wife and two daughters — the elder studying law while the younger will write her class 10 board exam from Monday. “My wife telephoned me and asked if I had my meal. My daughters congratulated me and told me to return home early and safely,” said the loving husband and dotting father.
Chatterjee joined police in 1993 and was deputed to the CID three years ago. He handled another case of suspected gang rape and murder in 2012. But he later found that no rape was committed.
The knack for sniffing out criminals began early for this son of a coal mine employee, partly because of his youthful addiction to cheap detective stories of Swapan Kumar. “Now I get no time to read nay books other than those on law related to my cases,” he confessed.
He has no other addictions, though. “No alcohol, no tobacco. Sometimes I chew a betel leaf. That’s all,” Chatterjee signed off.