Five members of a family and a pet dog were found dead inside a locked room of their flat,where a fire broke out early on Monday.
The bodies of Sudesh Basu (70),his son Supratim Basu (45),Supratims wife Sangeeta Basu (40),and their daughters June and Moon were found dead in the second-floor flat in Gangotri Apartments at 45E/15A Moore Avenue. One of the bodies bore injury marks,police said.
The only survivor was another dog,which was in a room that was not affected by the fire.
Prima facie the deaths appeared to be accidental,but the police have not ruled out poisoning and arson as a result of heavy debt.
Around 2.10 am,neighbours noticed the fire. We heard a loud noise and when we came out,we saw the flames at the window. The fire brigade was alerted. Four fire engines arrived,doused the fire and broke open the door, said a neighbour.
The bodies were taken to Katapukur morgue for post-mortem. A laptop and four mobile phones were recovered by police and sent for forensic tests.
Officials of Regent Park police station,the joint commissioner (crime) and forensic experts visited the spot. Five bodies (three women and two men) were recovered. One of the bodies had injury marks, said joint commissioner (crime) P K Ghosh.
Supratim was in the computer assembling business. Sudesh had retired,Sangeeta was a homemaker while her daughters studied in La Martiniere School. June had appeared for the Class XII examination while Moon was in Class IX.
It is suspected that Supratim Basu had,out of frustration arising from the huge debt he had incurred in his business,killed the others before taking his own life. He had taken loans of around Rs 1 crore from different banks,mostly from Indian Overseas Bank. Rs 83 lakh was outstanding, said a senior police official.
He also said that a possible case of poisoning and burning of the bodies was being looked into. A jug that possibly contained coffee and a Coke can have been recovered from the scene, he added.
Officials of the fire department,too,said it could be a case of intended fire. My experience says this fire has not been sparked by electrical equipment. It was manmade, said a fire official on the scene.
Local Trinamool MLA Arup Biswas visited the spot. I talked to the police and saw the scene myself. It is very mysterious. The police will hopefully make a breakthrough in a couple of days, he said.
Biswas said he had talked to the sister and brother-in-law of Sangeeta,who had met the family last night. They had dinner at a restaurant in a mall. No one noticed anything unnatural then, he added.
Neighbours said it was a peaceful locality and they had never heard noisy brawls in the Basu flat. They used to keep to themselves and seemed to be a happy family, said a 40-plus woman who lives nearby. They had shifted to this flat in Gangotri Apartments about 15 years ago. Before that they used to live at Flat 1C of an apartment building on 9/8C Moore Avenue, said a 50-plus neighbour.