Corporate bigwig knew those who accompanied killers, indicates probe into Kolkata killings
Investigation into the murders of Subir Chaki, managing director of Kilburn Engineering Ltd, and his driver Rabin Mondal in Kolkata on Sunday evening has shown that both of them knew the people who took the killer to the scene of the crime, police officers involved in the probe said on Tuesday.
The probe suggested that the murders were committed by more than one person and they might have been hired for the job. The officers suspect that Chaki was killed first.
Some employees of Kilburn Engineering Ltd were questioned by the police on Tuesday at the Mumbai-headquartered company’s office in central Kolkata.
The bodies, which bore multiple stab injuries, were found inside Chaki’s ancestral house at Kankulia Road in the Gariahat police station area of south Kolkata on Monday morning. Chaki’s body was found on the first floor while the driver’s body was lying on the second floor.
Chaki, 61, who lived at New Town on the eastern outskirts of the city with his wife, mother and mother-in-law and also owned property at a posh south Kolkata condominium, was trying to sell the old three-storey building for the last six years, residents of Kankulia Road told the police.
In the past, Chaki sent Mondal, 64, with the keys when prospective buyers came to see the property. The police suspect that Chaki could have been close to sealing a deal and hence came to the house on Sunday. This has raised the possibility of a cash transaction.
Officers from the homicide section of the detective department of the Kolkata Police, who are carrying out the investigation, took a sniffer dog to the scene of the crime on Tuesday.
“The dog picked up a smell and led the officers to the Ballygunge railway station located less than a kilometre away. The dog went to a platform after climbing the over-bridge. It is possible that someone who came to the house either on Sunday or earlier walked down to the station to board a train,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
Trains passing through the Ballygunge junction station carry passengers to remote parts of South 24 Parganas district as well as the Sealdah station in central Kolkata from where trains leave for most parts of the country.
“The investigators on Tuesday recreated the crime scene using a three-dimension imaging device. Statements of local residents were recorded since they claimed to have heard several voices, including that of a woman, coming from the house on Sunday. Security camera footages are also being examined,” the officer added.
“We are not ruling out professional rivalry as the motive although preliminary information points towards the sale of the property which should cost around ₹2 crore because of the prime location,” said a second police officer.
The Kolkata Police did not officially share any information with the media.
Chaki’s car was found on the road outside the building. A number of food packets and some legal documents were found inside the vehicle.
Members of Chaki’s family told the police that he called them on Sunday evening and talked about some repair work required at the house. His phone was switched off around 7 pm.
Mondal’s phone was switched off as well. Since both devices were stolen, police are examining call lists collected from the service providers.
Nobody lived in the upper floors of the house. There was nothing valuable there that might have led to a robbery, officers said. The ground floor was rented out to a private company. Its office was closed on Sunday. When the employees reported for duty on Monday morning, they found the door connecting the ground and first floors shut from inside, which was unusual.
Chaki, who studied at Kolkata’s St Xavier’s School, IIT Kharagur and IIM, Kolkata, worked for well-known companies all his life. His son and daughter live in London and Bengaluru respectively.
Chaki earlier worked as president (manufacturing) for Eveready Industries India Limited and as director for McNally Sayaji Engineering Limited.