60-yr-old woman's body found from manhole, residents smell foul play

The body of Sunanda Ganguly, who was around 60 years old, was found lying in the drain in her residential compound on Bokulbagan Road in Bhowanipore area of south Kolkata.

Kolkata: Body of a 60-year-old woman was today recovered half-stuck inside a manhole of a building in Chakraberia area in the southern part of the city, police said.

Sunanda Gangopadhyay's body was found half-stuck upside down inside a manhole of the building on Bakul Bagan Road in the Bhowanipore Police Station limits, Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police of the Special Task Force (STF) Vishal Garg, who visited the murder site said.

There was no injury mark on the woman's body but the way the body was lying upside down in the drain was "quite unnatural", Garg added.

"About one feet of Sunanda's legs were outside the sewerage tank with her tongue coming out of her mouth but there was no sign of any injury on her body nor there was any sign of any strangulation. We are still unsure and are waiting for the post-mortem report for a confirmation on that," Garg said.

Also nothing was "missing from Sunanda's room and that created more confusion about the woman's death, he added.

On whether the woman could have slipped into the open-manhole, Garg said, "We are not ruling out anything... There can be a possibility of that also. The sewerage tank is around 4 to 4.5 feet deep and the cover of the manhole was kept aside," Garg said.

Sunanda, who was running an NGO and used to provide private tuition to local boys and girls, was staying alone in the house for the last 50 years, Garg said.

Locals alleged that Sunanda, separated from her husband Buddhadeb for a few years, was murdered by some promoters of the area who were eyeing the old building for long time.

Residents of the area also alleged that the promoters had allegedly kidnapped the old woman a couple of years back.

"The promoters were also trying to prove her as insane. They were after her for a long time because she was reluctant to vacate the room of the building which was sold to them by the owner.

She was threatened by the promoters and complaints were lodged at Bhowanipore Police Station regarding this though no action was initiated," a local resident said.

Talking about the alleged role of the promoter, Garg said, "We are looking into all the possibilities. I have heard that there are some cases lodged in the same matter. We are waiting for the post-mortem report."

Sniffer dogs were pressed into service, while sleuths from the Kolkata Police homicide department have started investigation into the matter.

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