A woman caretaker of a short-stay home for destitute children at Burtala in North Kolkata was killed and two minor girls – who had been rescued from an adjacent red light area a day ago – were taken away from the home.
On Wednesday morning, the body Kabita Roy (60) was found in a room of the destitute home situated at the second floor of an NGO’s office on Nilmoni Mitra Street. Police are yet to determine the time of her murder. No one had turned up at the NGO’s office on Tuesday as it was holiday.
Narrating the incident, a police officer said that some members of the NGO, who are also former sex workers, had found two minor girls moving around aimlessly in the red light area and rescued them. The girls are residents of Bongaon in South 24-Parganas. One of them studies in Class VIII and the other in Class IX.
They had come in touch with two youth through a social networking site and were engaged in an affair with them. The youth convinced them to leave home, promising to marry them. But their journey culminated in them ending up at the red light area. The girls somehow managed to escape the house of the sex worker to whom the youth had sold them to.
After rescuing them, the NGO members took them to their office where the girls were kept in the short-stay destitute home and their parents were informed. The Child Welfare Committee was also informed and the formal process of handing over the girls to the parents was about to take place on Wednesday. Only Kabita Roy was staying along with them when the incident took place.
Police suspect that someone known to Kabita was behind the crime. She used to keep the keys on her and the killer(s) snatched them from her and entered the building. They reportedly strangled her with a gamcha and smashed her head with a heavy stone to ensure her death, then took away the girls.
Later, Loton Singh, an employee of the NGO, went to the office and found all the gates open. Two more employees reached there later and found Kabita lying in a pool of blood on the second floor.
Dog squad and senior officers from the Homicide Section of the city police’s detective department went to the spot, including deputy commissioner (North) Subhankar Sinha. They spoke to the victim’s colleagues and parents of the girls. Preliminary post-mortem report and bruises on her body suggested that Kabita tried to resist the accused and had a scuffle with them.
Kabita was the first president of the NGO, which was founded in 1995.